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How Russian & U.S. Christians Fight Progressivism | The Russia Desk | NowThis

For many of us Americans, understanding of Russian interference in the US begins with hacked emails and fake Facebook accounts, and ends with the election of Donald Trump in 2016. But that’s not the whole picture. As we now know, these efforts stretched back years (even decades) and included coordination with some of the most heinous, regressive groups currently in the U.S. One of those groups is the World Congress of Families, or WCF. You’ve probably never heard of the WCF. But over the past decade, they’ve become the leading international organization dedicated to rolling back rights for LGBT individuals across the world. And, coincidentally, WCF has allowed Russian oligarchs, close to Putin, easy access to America’s Evangelical community via their events. In September 2018, the WCF hosted sanctioned Russian politicians and American Religious Right figures for their annual conference in Moldova, with wonderful panels called things like ”The Challenges Facing the Sanctity of Life” and “Gender Ideology — The Latest Attack on the Family.” Not only have these events let these sanctioned oligarchs build their own relationships with America’s Religious Right, but they’ve helped convince American Evangelicals that
Russian interference is actually not that big of a deal and that Russia is the Religious Right’s ally against so-called “godless liberals” in the U.S., even if it means subverting democracy here in the U.S. The WCF got its start in a small Moscow apartment, just over 20 years ago. An American named Allan Carlson traveled to Moscow, and met with a couple Russian sociologists to plot out how Americans and Russians could organize a group dedicated to restore quote-unquote “tradition” to their societies. Just like that, the WCF was born. As Carlson wrote in his diary, which he sent to me, he quote “went to sleep content with the world.” For years, the WCF kind of hung around on the fringe. Holding conferences dedicated to opposing abortion, same-sex
marriage, and to supposedly protecting children. It became popular in certain circles, and ended up reportedly
funded by people like Russian oligarch Vladimir Yakunin, who is one of Putin’s oldest confidants, and who’s now sanctioned by the U.S. By the early 2010s, though, the group took on a new role. By then, relations between Russia and the West had soured. Russians were suddenly rising up against Putin, who was returning to the presidency in 2012 on the back of a fraudulent election. And in Ukraine, pro-democracy protesters toppled their thuggish president, which led to Russia invading southern Ukraine, claiming Crimea, and backing so-called “separatists” in eastern Ukraine. Now, America led the efforts to sanction Russia — freezing assets, and banning people like Yakunin from traveling to the U.S., citing them as the key players in Russia’s attempt to upend the post-Cold War order. Suddenly, the Kremlin was looking for ways to influence American policy – and to work with sympathetic Americans. Enter, the WCF. Yakunin, the US sanctioned oligarch, was soon joined by another sanctioned Russian oligarch, Konstantin Malofeev, whose nickname is “God’s oligarch.” Both of them reportedly started funding WCF activities. Along the way, the WCF started becoming more involved in
crafting anti-abortion, anti-gay policies in Russia – the group even took credit for crafting quote “the first package of
anti-abortion laws in Russia” since the Soviet collapse. Thanks to the WCF’s work, American Evangelicals started noticing Russia. Some began claiming that Putin was the quote “lion of Christianity,” while others like Pat Buchanan began suggesting that God was on Russia’s side. And in 21014 for the first time, the WCF announced it would be hosting its annual conference in Russia proper – bringing the heavy-hitters of America’s Religious Right
to Russia, to see with their own eyes how the Kremlin had supposedly become God’s messenger on earth. Thanks to Crimea, that conference fell through – there was just enough pressure in the U.S. to get the
WCF to say the conference was canceled. But that didn’t mean the WCF was done with Russia. The conference actually still went on, just without any official WCF branding. It was, as one analyst said, the moment that Russia quote “took
on the mantle of leadership of global social conservatism.” It gave “Russia the chance to say, ‘We’re the leaders here.’” And so, as the U.S. continued sanctions against key Russian figures, Moscow tried to convince its American allies to rally to its defense — which the WCF was only too happy to do. One of the WCF’s leaders, a guy named Larry Jacobs, described Russia as the quote “hope for the world” — which in turn helped convince other American Evangelicals like Franklin Graham that Putin wasn’t all that bad. Thanks to the WCF, it was Russia — not the U.S. — that was suddenly leading the fight for the global Christian Right. And it wasn’t long thereafter that Donald Trump
decided to throw his hat in the presidential ring. We all know the Russian interference that came:
email hacks, Wikileaks, fake Twitter accounts, the whole 9 yards. But one thing we’re still learning about is how the WCF bridged
the gap between Russia and America’s Religious Right. Thanks to the efforts of the WCF, the Religious Right didn’t really seem to care about
Russia’s assault on American democracy. They didn’t care that Russia had tried to tip the election against Hillary Clinton. They didn’t care that Russia had tried to get
someone like Donald Trump into the White House. How’s that for hypocrisy? And guess what? They still don’t care. There’s a reason, after all, why those helping Russian interference efforts used things like the National Prayer Breakfast to wine and dine with those on the American right. It’s for much the same reason that Evangelicals support Trump himself. They see Trump — and Russia — as a means to an end: as a way to help roll back decades of progress, whether it comes to abortion or same-sex legislation, or even when it comes to basic individual rights. For them, there’s no one — and no country — they won’t support, as long as it means getting what they want. Meanwhile, the WCF continues to host conferences bringing together American Evangelicals and US sanctioned Russian officials. Over in Moldova a couple months ago. It was still one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen. There were dancing babies, and fake French princes, and children singing for the crowd. But there were also US sanctioned Russian oligarchs there, railing against progressivism — alongside American social conservatives, saying the exact same thing. The current WCF head, a prominent US Evangelical named Brian Brown, said he wanted to create quote “friendships of trust”
with the US sanctioned Russians involved. The Americans there didn’t care that their conference
comrades are part of the Kremlin’s dictatorship, nor that they’re members of the group that made
history by interfering in American democracy. And that’s why this all matters. These people, who are just a few steps away from those in the White House, want more than anything to continue building an alliance with Russia — and to do what they can to unwind American
democracy, using whatever help they can get. They wanted to continue helping these sanctioned Russian officials gain access to the American Religious Right, and to help these Russian billionaires continue looting their own populations, and to help the Kremlin continue to spread its brand of
kleptocratic dictatorship far and wide. As the conference showed, these networks haven’t gone anywhere. And these networks haven’t stopped working together
for a world where abortion is illegal, where the LGBT community lives in fear, and where Russia and the U.S. are partners in theocracy, no matter the cost. [MUSIC] Hi folks, I’m Casey filling in for Versha this week she’s my wife. Thanks so much for watching this episode of Russia Desk. Don’t forget to share this video if you liked it! Bye!

Jean Kelley



  1. Leonard McGriddle Posted on December 11, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Ask yourselves: progress towards what, exactly? Why is progressivism a direction people outside your social circles should want?

  2. Demarcus Black Posted on December 11, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Thank God someone is standing up to you degenerate, sociopathic, lying lunatics.

  3. adub4ever Posted on December 11, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Some Lefties in the US defend Russia because they think the Soviet Union was a progressive, left wing country… but in reality Russia has always been a conservative Christian society with little diversity and a bent for being ruled by authoritarian fascist dictators. It’s only natural they would be allies of the Social Right in the US.

  4. A .G Posted on December 11, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Putin, trump, and all these right Christian wing politicians are not Christian behind doors. It’s all an act for them to get the support one of the most ignorant, uneducated, and weak people of the world to support their policies and ideas to achieve world domination. Y’all need to wake tf up if you think these politicians care about you or your Christian traditions.

  5. ljlarrea Posted on December 11, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    We all should fight progressivism.

  6. Marios Moukakos Posted on December 11, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Pathetic video.

  7. Katt Hewitt Posted on December 11, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    We've all seen where progressivism just for the sake of progressivism has led the western world. Right is now wrong, boys can now identify as girls or a tree or a parking lot etc…illegal aliens are now called irregular (Canada), men are now evil and it's ok to ruin their life with a simple accusation alone…I can go on and on!

  8. George Posted on December 11, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    I grew up Orthodox, our priests weren't boylovers, they were married men…
    Seems like the right religion if you're into traditions and spirituality. I don't see anything nefarious about Europeans taking a hardline against Islam by maintaining their own culture. Poland, Hungary, Austria and Russia are doing what's morally right.

  9. George Posted on December 11, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Call me old fashioned, but I don't really see the appeal in killing your own children.

    No amount of spooky music or vague references to evil Russian hackers will change my mind.

  10. NailaCafé Posted on December 11, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    International Right Wing

  11. Shrugged Fishy Posted on December 12, 2018 at 12:06 am

    bring back test tube news

  12. Nithin Srivatsa Posted on December 12, 2018 at 1:28 am

    Approved by the Ministry of Liberal Propaganda

  13. CJN Posted on December 12, 2018 at 3:49 am

    Know This will knock Christians for their beliefs. But go all out to defend Muslim beliefs.

  14. Barry Sorento Posted on December 12, 2018 at 4:39 am

    If progressives get their way, child molestation will be punished with a small fine. Becuase their born that way and we shouldnt judge them

  15. TappatopShotta Posted on December 12, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Like it or not progress will happen. Jump on board or get out of the way.

  16. zyzz Posted on December 13, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Purge all degenerates

  17. John Sawyer Posted on December 13, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    The appeals by Russia to religion and "tradition" are fake. The people making these appeals have other goals in mind, but the rule of law and opposition to corruption stand in their way, so they're appealing to religious believers who already oppose the concept of secular laws, hoping to recruit them to help weaken, reduce enforcement of, or even overturn those laws so that oligarchs and their corporations can have free reign to exploit, launder ill-gotten money, invade countries without consequences, etc. without being constrained by effective laws against these crimes. Many religious believers currently either don't understand that they're being used in this manner, or they don't care because the veneer and surface "traditions" of religion are all they really care about, as well as the money they're making by siding with oligarchs. They'd be happy enough in a world where autocratic governments, including their own, engaged in massive corruption, as long as they were allowed to practice their religion in some fashion, because they feel themselves to be living in a separate religious world anyway. But eventually (and it wouldn't take long), many of the ways in which they're allowed to practice their religion would be controlled by the state, as happens in Russia and China. And, their religion would merge with that secular corruption anyway (it already has, at larger scales), turning their religion into a joke that simply serves the corrupt goals of the state, allowing no effective opposition to anything the state wants to do.

    Religious Russophiles should look to China for a more worrisome example of what can happen to religion when an autocratic nation controls people's religious observances–if believers allow Russia to call the shots in the religious world, they run the risk of Russia changing the rules at some point, when religion no longer suits Russia's purposes, to yank out from under the people, as China has done, their very ability to openly practice their religion.

    This is why America's founders wanted a separation of church and state–not to reduce religious freedom or observation, but to make sure the state couldn't force a particular religion, especially a twisted state-serving version of one, on anyone.

  18. Rocket Launcher Posted on December 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    “Toppled their thuggish leader” yeah and Ukraine’s economy tanked after that with one of the highest inflation rates and their new “democratic” leader is accused for human rights abuses. He sent in the army just to suppress a Hungarian minority for teaching Hungarian in schools

  19. Rocket Launcher Posted on December 13, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Acting like all Christians are far right loool

  20. Lopyj Posted on December 14, 2018 at 3:24 am

    is that serious? or comedy?

  21. Vikram Nandakumaran Posted on December 14, 2018 at 4:58 am

    typical propaganda….

  22. leonte cooper Posted on December 14, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I wish I could talk to this guy… Why do liberals seek to rob people of their 1st Amendment Rights to religion???? It's the FIRST AMENDMENT THE FRAMERS THOUGHT OF…. So much propaganda here

  23. Axel C Posted on December 15, 2018 at 3:12 am

    Well..at this point I don't know what to say..so many things that I can say against this video

  24. Jamie Irving Posted on December 18, 2018 at 3:34 am

    Kids dancing happily? (Paranoia intensifies!)

  25. Indo European Posted on December 20, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    This Is An Epic Propaganda Failure LOL

  26. Chetan Biswas Posted on December 24, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Leftism & Progressivism is a diseases and should be treated as such. I fully support these traditional evangelical christians.

  27. enderboi 12 Posted on December 24, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Being progressive in the US is bs

  28. Carla Posted on December 26, 2018 at 2:50 am

    Authoritarian is a bad thing, no matter which side (or color) it emanates from!

  29. Adamo Conscientia Posted on December 27, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    conservatives are cancer for our modern society

  30. V. Lee Walker Posted on December 29, 2018 at 1:07 am

    Hey Putin, does donnie swallow? Asking for a friend!

  31. ijvo1951 Posted on January 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    You should look into Dominion Theology.

  32. Paul Thompson Posted on February 1, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Wats price for everlasting life jebus safe us. Why do White Christians always want to see rapture it ain't happn'n. Religion ha

  33. Steven W Posted on February 12, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    Nothing like more fear mongering lol

  34. Taulanti Illyrian Posted on February 13, 2019 at 2:19 am

    Beautiful Russian Christians! Meanwhile, progressives raise "trans"-kids.

  35. Charles Quinn Posted on February 13, 2019 at 5:57 am

    Wow that was bias

  36. Marisel Mart Posted on February 21, 2019 at 2:29 am

    Barf barf barf. DISGUSTING BEYOND WORDS.

  37. Vanessa T Posted on March 2, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    wow, propaganda with a capital "P". Twilight of the liberals! No wonder you're so afraid.

  38. A YT Name Posted on March 11, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    This channel is garbage

  39. Aaron Young Posted on March 17, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Progressive ideals are sick . Sad how the left is still blaiming russia for the lefts failure. Lol

  40. Aaron Young Posted on March 17, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    Left blaims russia . Pushes marxism in u.s. hypocrits

  41. Westin Ritter Posted on March 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    So you guys make Conspiracy Theories too now cool I'll tell my flatearther friend

  42. bloodaxe Posted on March 22, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    L O W E N E R G Y

  43. Melvin Fernandez Posted on April 5, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    If only really big cities would spring up all over the middle of the US to fill in all that unneeded empty space and farm land. Maybe then the US would finally be a more multicultural and progressive country. Christians from the middle ages had trouble existing with other cultures and ways of life. We are in 2019 and the movement of progressiveness is happening with or without your old traditions and ways of life, get over it already…

  44. Foerdi94 Posted on April 20, 2019 at 4:09 am

    When Russia was an empire of evil with gulags and had been proven to support leftist extremists and terrorists in the West, when it increased its nuclear potential, the left said we must learn to coexist and not let warmongering fascist republicans destroy the world in a nuclear holocaust.

  45. the dude Posted on April 26, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Bs. So Russia might of been able to change the mind if some americans who couldnt tell they were being duped by a russian website, big deal. We've been doing this for years in other countries. Is this what you now turn to now that your beloved muler report failed to make hillary president. Its over, build a bridge and get over it. American Progressives like "now this" are bad for the world, and other counties are taking notice. Free everything, and killing off any accident baby is not good. I'll go ahead and add you to my flat earther collection.

  46. shannon cardinal Posted on May 3, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    I wish this video would go viral. He explains and clarifies so much.

  47. Hennessy Blues Posted on May 3, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Let me guess, Islamo-Fascism is okay though?

  48. J D Posted on May 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    The dishonesty of the corporate and left wing media in the 2016 election was far more egregious than $20k worth of  facebook ads. This is all so ridiculous.

  49. Diane Marhevka Poland Posted on June 2, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Agenda much? You don't understand Orthodox.
    Maybe you should get a clue.

  50. Nathan Howell Posted on July 9, 2019 at 5:00 am

    I don't see much evidence that "the Christian Right" is involved in everything that you say. Nor is it fair to say that the Christian Right is the same thing as evangelical Christians. Besides showing a brief image if Franklin Graham walking on a stage where is all of the supposed connections between WCF and evangelical leaders. I've been an evangelical Christian my whole life and I've never heard of WCF. Never heard one Christian leader I respect mention it. Without more evidence this looks like NowThis is using this video to smear Christians. How about actually interviewing a Christian leader directly? They aren't hard to find and are usually more than willing to talk about how their faith informs thier civil discourse.

  51. Dark Shield Posted on August 19, 2019 at 6:08 am

    Pizzagate? CONSPIRACY!
    Russiagate? Unproven-Truth.

  52. Dark Shield Posted on August 19, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Just watching for a quick laugh.

  53. Dark Shield Posted on August 19, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Democracy in its core is flawed.

  54. dee wok Posted on August 24, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    russian trolls and extremist christians seem to have been triggered by this video