Author: Deputy Thomas Diaz

As a deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and a proud member of the Standing Commission on World Mission, it is my distinct honor to co-author Resolution A081 alongside Rev. Dr. Caroline Carson. This resolution addresses a critical issue facing our world today: the rise of religious nationalism and extremism, both domestically and globally.

The Crisis of Religious Nationalism

We are at a pivotal moment in history where extremism, including religious nationalism, has reached a crisis point. Religious nationalism can be defined as the merging of religious identity with nationalist ideologies within a specific nation or country. This phenomenon is not confined to one part of the world but is a global issue, manifesting in various forms. In the United States, we see this in the “Christian nationalist” movement, while other forms of extremism are evident across different countries.

 The Mission of The Episcopal Church

The mission of The Episcopal Church, as articulated in the Book of Common Prayer’s catechism, is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (pg. 855). This mission calls us to act against forces that seek to divide and harm. Religious nationalism promotes violence against marginalized groups, severely impacting social, cultural, and historical contexts. It is our responsibility to recognize, acknowledge, and urgently address these rising threats.

The Role of The Episcopal Church

Given our presence both domestically and globally, The Episcopal Church must identify and call out incidents of religious nationalism. These incidents might include social turmoil, life-threatening behaviors against specific people or religions, a continuation of systemic hate crimes, and the targeting of minority groups. By acknowledging these threats, we fulfill our duty to work towards the unity and safety of all God’s people.

The Call to Action

Resolution A081 urges The Episcopal Church to combat rising religious nationalism in partnership with inter-religious, ecumenical, and Anglican Communion partners. This collaborative effort is essential to effectively address and mitigate the harmful impacts of religious extremism.

Personal Commitment

As someone deeply committed to the values and mission of The Episcopal Church, co-authoring this resolution is profoundly significant to me. It reflects our collective dedication to promoting peace, unity, and justice. By passing Resolution A081, we take a vital step towards fulfilling our mission and protecting those who are most vulnerable to the destructive forces of religious nationalism.

Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can restore unity and peace in our world.

—*This blog post reflects my personal views and commitment as a deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and a member of the Standing Commission on World Mission.*