More than 500 evangelical pastors and other faith leaders have signed an open letter decrying “radicalized Christian nationalism,” arguing that the religious expressions by insurrectionists during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol are “heretical” and a “perversion of the Christian faith.”
The letter, which was organized by several Christian groups, including the liberal-leaning evangelical group Vote Common Good, decries those who invoked their religious beliefs — especially Christian iterations that skewed toward evangelicalism — while attacking the U.S. Capitol.
“We know from experts on radicalization that one of the key elements is a belief that your actions are ‘blessed by God’ and ordained by your faith. This is what allows so many people who hold to a Christian Nationalism view to be radicalized,” the letter reads.
The letter says its signers feel compelled to condemn such expressions, “just as many Muslim leaders have felt the need to denounce distorted, violent versions of their faith” in previous years.
The statement was a response to the form of Christianity that was displayed by some of the attackers, typified by a prayer delivered in the Senate chamber and captured on film by a reporter for the New Yorker showing a bare-chested Jacob Chansley, sometimes identified as the “Q Shaman,” thanking God for “allowing us to get rid of the communists, the globalists and the traitors within our government.”
“We reject this prayer being used to justify the violent act and attempted overthrow of the Government,” the letter reads.
Read the letter here.