chapter  10
19 Pages

Religious non-profit organisations, the Cold War, the state and resurgent evangelicalism, 1945–90

ByAXEL R . SCHÄFER

In the half-century since the end of the Second World War the relationship between religious groups and the federal government in the US changed dramatically, with far-reaching political consequences beyond the narrow field of church-state relations. Seeking to shore up national defence, ensure international security, generate economic growth and create social stability, Cold War policy-makers developed close ties with religious charities in such diverse areas as healthcare, higher education, welfare services and foreign aid. Moreover, the post-war era provided religious groups with opportunities to reassert their spiritual mission by linking it to America’s new global role as ‘defender of the Free World’. Institutionally, as well as ideologically, state and religious non-profit organisations thus became closely intertwined under the auspices of the Cold War state.