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This article introduces the controversy over the naming of COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” and the related hate crimes in the US. It focuses on a group of Chinese Christians in North America who devote themselves to defending and legitimising the concept of the “Chinese Virus” within various social media. This research analyses the content of the related texts and videos and defines the Christian far-right narrative and reviews the relationship between the Christian far-right narrative, Christian fundamentalism, and Christian nationalism. It explores the frame alignment process of American Christian nationalism and evaluates the frame bridging, amplification, extension, and transformation dynamics of the Chinese Christian far-right narrative. It discusses the similarity between Chinese Christian far-right and religious nationalism in different countries and evaluates the cultural and structural factors that contributed to Christian nationalism with Chinese characteristics. The Chinese Christian far-right narrative tends to adopt a friend/foe binary in- terpretation of political issues, moralise the goal of nation-building, downplay the democratic process and legal systems, and put religious communitarian values over the secular state’s re- sponsibility to protect human rights. The Christian far-right narrative reflects a religious nationalist sentiment to exclude political, religious, and cultural others, which is fundamentalist theologically, opposing to system politically, anti-secular humanism culturally, and anti-progressive morally. Keywords: Christian nationalism, fundamentalism, Christian far-right, narrative Liu, Yan. 2022. “Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context: A Cross-Disciplinary Perspective.” Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies, 14, pp. 109– https://doi.org/10.2478/vjeas-2022-0005 Submitted: 05.05.2022, accepted: 05.10.2022 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies Introduction About twenty days after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in China and the lockdown of Wǔhàn on January 23, 2020 (AP NEWS 2021), the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) named it “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),” for this virus is genetically related to the SARS outbreak of 2003 in Guangzhou, China, on February 11, 2020. Following guidelines from the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced “COVID-19” as the name of the virus on the same day. The naming of the virus was to prevent unnecessary fear for those who were worst affected by the SARS in 2003 and to avoid stigmatising “a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people” that are related to the disease (WHO 2020). With the spreading of the virus into a global pandemic, the need to find out the source of the virus was getting more urgent. However, months after the outbreak, “there is still no transparent, independent investigation into the source of the virus,” as a CNN report commented, and “the World Health Organisation concealed conces- sions to China and may have sacrificed the best chance to unravel the virus’s origins. Now it’s a favorite Trump attack line” (Gebrekidan et al. 2020). The disputes between WHO and two of the major powers, the US and China, triggered long-hidden conflicts among nations on global issues and the politics of the virus’ naming. On March 9, Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican leader of the US House of Representatives, used the term “Chinese Coronavirus” in his tweet. President Donald Trump retweeted this message one day later (Kozlowska 2020). On March 12, 2020, Zhào Lìjiān 趙立堅, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Information Department spokesperson, tweeted a message saying, “When did patient zero begin in the US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be the US army who brought the epidemic to Wǔhàn. Be transparent! Make public your data! The US owes us an explanation!” (Zhào 2020). Zhào’s conspiracy theory and the Chinese government’s campaign to question the virus’ origin invited international attention (Westcott and Jiang 2020). On March 16, 2020, the Chinese official media Xinhua News released an article criticising the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien for their “frivolous political theatrics” (ZYL 2020). On March 17, President Trump used the term “Chinese Virus” instead of COVID-19 during a news briefing at the White House and “skewered Beijing for floating an accusation that the US military deliberately infected the Chinese people with coronavirus to make it appear as though the virus originated in China” (McArdle 2020). Although Trump tweeted a message saying that spreading the virus is not the fault of Asian-Americans on March 23 (Vazquez 2020), the term “Chinese Virus” encouraged Sinophobic sentiment and racism against Asian-Americans. In early April Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context 2020, millions of messages containing the term “Chinese Virus” were found on Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, etc. (Macguire 2020). From 2019 to 2020, the overall hate crime rate in sixteen of America’s largest cities declined, whereas Asian-American- targeted hate crimes increased by 150 per cent (Yam 2021). By September 2021, the national coalition of “Stop AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) Hate” has recorded 10,371 hate incidents against AAPI since the outbreak of the pandemic. Among those incidents, 4,599 occurred in 2020 and 5,771 in 2021; 62.9 per cent of the cases were verbal harassment, 16.3 per cent shun- ning, 16.1 per cent physical assault, and 8.6 per cent online harassment; about one in every five AAPI had experienced hate incident in the past year, and 62 per cent of them were women (Stop AAPI Hate 2021). Major media around the US have ex- pressed their concern over the safety and psychological well-being of the Asian communities. Although President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 hate Crimes Act into law in May 2021, the number of hate crimes did not subside (NPR Associated Press 2021). A survey of 543 Chinese American families conducted by the Department of Psychology, Maryland University, shows that since the pandemic 75 per cent of Chinese American parents and youth have witnessed racial discrimination on a monthly or weekly basis; 30 to 50 per cent of them have encountered direct racial discrimination online or in-person on a monthly or weekly basis; 50 per cent of them worried about how they would be treated in public due to the US government’s use of terminology like the “China Virus” or the “Wuhan Virus.” Over 50 per cent of them agreed that there is a Sinophobia sentiment among Americans who consider Chinese people and culture a threat to public health in the US (Cheah et al. 2020). In contrast to most Chinese Americans’ fraught with the pandemic, a group of Chinese American Christians has been defending the naming of “Chinese Virus” or “Wuhan Virus” with a narrative quite different from the mainstream news media. This group of Chinese American Christians is a group of Trump supporters who have identified themselves as conservative Christians. They call themselves true-right to distinguish from the liberal Christian left. They denied the social consequences of the term “Chinese Virus” and justified it with political and religious reasons. But why did they endorse the term “Chinese Virus?” How do they advocate the narrative of the “Chinese Virus”? What are the factors that contribute to their attitude towards the term? What is the relationship between the group’s Christian identity and their narrative on related political issues? The participants of the survey included 543 Chinese American parents and their children (N=230) who lived in the US. The design of the questionnaire referred to the Racial and Ethnic Microaggres- sions Scale, the Asian American Racism-Related Stress Inventory, the Perceived Islamophobia Scale, etc. Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies To answer these questions, this research adopts a cross-disciplinary framework of social-historical and political-theological analysis and explores the forming dynamics of the Christian far-right narrative. Firstly, it defines the Christian far-right narratives and discusses the Christian far-rights roots in Christian fundamentalism, Christian right narrative, and neo-nationalism. Secondly, based on “frame alignment” theory, it evaluates the evolvement of Christian nationalism and Christian Right in the US political context. Thirdly, by focusing on the term “Chinese Virus,” it examines the functions and characteristics of Chinese American Christian far-right narrative. Fourthly, it compares the Chinese Christian far-right and religious nationalism in different countries. Finally, it evaluates the cultural and structural factors that have contributed to Christian nationalism with Chinese characteristics. Defining the Christian Far-Right Narrative The left and right divisions of social groups are initially political. When applied as an adjective to modify the noun “Christian,” it reflects an interaction between one’s political-religious beliefs and identities. Jeffrey Haynes (2021: 39) explained that “[t]he Christian Right is not a party, movement, or organisation. It is a loose partner- ship of individuals and groups united in the view that America’s Christian foundations are undermined by secularisation, and it is crucial to reverse this trend to return to what the Christian Right believes is America’s founding values,” and they pursue collective goals “characterised by cultural, social, and political conservatism” (ibid.: 40). The Christian far-right stands by the far end of the Christian Right spectrum. Strømmen and Schmiedel (2020: 2) compared the cases of the far-right in Europe and defined three types of far-right: terrorist, populist (against elites and representing the people), and hard right (Islamophobic Cultural Christianity or Crusader Christianity) (ibid.: 92). The three far-right types all propagate a narrative centred on the clash of Christian-Islam cultures: “this clash of cultures comes with a return of identity politics in the name of the nation” (ibid.: 2). The Chinese American Christians in this research bear the characteristics of the populist far-right who are against the elites and the intellectuals and exclude those who do not meet their definition of “the people” (Strømmen and Schmiedel 2020: 67). Hǎo (2020) gave a list of characteristics of the far-right group: politically, they could be white supremacists, extreme nationalists, populist, authoritarianist, anti-socialist, and anti-multiculturalism; economically, they could be neo-liberal capitalists and anti- globalists; socially, they could be racist or sexist and against any form of abortion. Also, they are usually ardent supporters of Trumpism. The Chinese American Christian group observed in this research exemplifies some of the ideological elements described by Hǎo. Given their Christian identity, Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context both the terms Christian far-right and Christian nationalist meet part of their ideological characteristics. Christian nationalist holds tight to an individual’s and a nation’s Christian identity. They believe the nation’s history, symbols, values, and public policies should all follow Christian tenets. Christian nationalism includes the assumptions of “nativism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity, along with divine sanction for authoritarian control and militarism” (Whitehead and Perry 2020: 10). The concepts of Christian far-right and Christian nationalists cover a broad set of characteristics, and they are manifested in the Chinese American Christians observed in this research. Still, this set of features may not apply to every individual. Therefore, this research will analyse the group’s narratives rather than the persons. Merriam-webster dictionary defines the term narrative as “a way of presenting or un- derstanding a situation or series of events that reflects and promotes a particular point of view or set of values.” The Christian far-right narrative in this research refers to a systematic interpretation of social situations based on fundamentalist Christian values, which helps to construct one’s group and national identity and appropriates the collective meaning and action according to the Christian populist rationale. The term “Chinese Virus” is just an example of this narrative. The Christian Far-Right’s Roots in Christian Fundamentalism, Christian Right Narrative, and Neo-Nationalism In order to understand the Christian far-right’s narrative during the pandemic, we need to understand the conceptual relationship between Christian Right, Christian fun- damentalism, Christian nationalism, neo-nationalism, and racism. Mark Juergensmeyer (1993: 6) used the term “religious nationalists” to describe those who are religiously fundamentalist, morally conservative, and culturally anti-modernist. The term fundamentalism originated in the US, where reli- gious conservatives in the early twentieth century were outraged by the practices of Christian liberals. The fundamentalists believe in the Bible’s absolute authority, di- vine revelation, and the importance of born-again experience. They adhere to the lit- eral interpretation of the Bible and prioritise it over the common senses of modern society (Smith and Emerson 1998). They hold moral superiority over other groups and believe their moral truth can help shape individual life and American social morality. To the fundamentalist Christian groups, being tolerant and inclusive is im- moral and unfaithful to God. The Christian fundamentalist responds to the modern political situation in a religious way, blurring the distinction between religion and politics, that is, between https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/narrative (accessed: September 15, 2022). Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies the church and the nation’s establishment (Juergensmeyer 1993: 6). The religious nationalists are concerned about the moral basis for politics and the value of a nation to elicit collective loyalty; they reject universal moral order, rational rules of justice, and individualism; and they consider secular nationalism as bereft of moral values. The religious nationalists create a new form of nationalism, a synthesis of religion and the secular state, and a merger of cultural identity and legitimacy (ibid.: 201). As a form of religious nationalism, Christian nationalism is a political ideology tied closely to the Christian Right, as Jeffrey Haynes argues, who defines American Christian nationalism as neo-nationalism that combines religious, cultural, and secular concerns (Haynes 2021: 19). Neo-nationalism includes the elements of neo-liberal politics, authoritarianism, anti-immigration, aggressive communicative style, fear of external threat, and “a fear of the undermining of what are believed to be the appropriate religious-cultural characteristics of a country” (ibid.: 29). Christian fundamentalist narratives offered divine reasons for the American neo-nationalists to promote their political agenda. The Christian far-right narratives analysed in this research emphasise the chosenness of the whiteness, the land, the nation, and even the wars of America, with a nationalistic and racist undertone. The narrative to separate “us” from “others” as God’s ordained people is at the core of racist attitudes and policies, and racism “proved to be the logical corollary to national election” (Wilsey and Fea 2015: 104). As Kendrick Banks (2000) explained, “race was designed by human society to categorise and ascribe value to groups of people according to kind.” The concept of ethnicity relates to genetic ancestry, language, cultural heritage, and norms, whereas the concept of race is a “grouping of humans determined primarily by one’s phenotype” like skin colour, hair texture, and facial features. Banks (ibid.) clarified three dimen- sions of racism: societal racism (structural of social power); interpersonal racism (prejudice, discrimination, and antagonism related to hatred, fear, suspicion, or xenophobia); and internalised racism (psychological acceptance of white supremacy as an ideology). In the latter part of this article, we will look into the structural founda- tions of discrimination in Chinese society to explore the root of “Chinese Virus” narratives. The sense of chosenness closely relates to racism at three levels. For example, discrimination is prejudiced outlook, action, or treatment; xenophobia is fear and hatred of strangers or anything strange or foreign (according to Merriam-Webster dictionary). The sense of chosenness could lead to xenophobia at the psychological and cognitive level, prejudice and discrimination at an interpersonal level, and discriminative policy or rules at the societal level. George Mckenna explained that the concept of Americans’ chosenness is related to five theological elements: that of America as the new Israel, America’s divine mission, the covenant between the https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/xenophobia (accessed: September 15, 2022). Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context Americans and God, the fight against the anti-Christ, and always holding the truth or being right or just (Wilsey and Fea 2015: 96–97)—beliefs that are prevalent among the white Evangelical and fundamentalist Christians. These five theological elements—especially fighting against Satan and holding the truth—are typical characteristics of religious fundamentalists. The Christian far-right narrative bears these two characteristics, i.e., against Satan and holding the truth, as we will see from the examples in the latter part of this article. Following the above discussion of the relationship between the Christian far- right narrative, Christian fundamentalism, Christian nationalism, and racism, the following part of the article will adopt the “frame alignment” theory to examine how the Christian nationalist narrative aligned with religious and political resources and ignited Christian Right social movements in the US. The Christian Far-Right Seen in the Frame Alignment Process of Christian Nationalism “Frame Alignment” explains how individual interests, values, beliefs, and the activities and goals of social movement organisations complement each other and make a congruent ideological package with attribution models, ameliorating solutions for social problems. There are four types of frame alignment processes: frame bridg- ing; amplification; extension; and transformation (Snow et al. 1986; Benford and Snow 2000). The Christian nationalist narrative serves as a frame alignment agent to mobilise social forces and promote a social, political, cultural, and economic agenda compatible with the Christian Right rationale. Frame Bridging process involves the linkage of ideologically congruent but not structurally connected frames over a particular issue. The bridging device helps mobilise public sentiments or opinions over some common grievances or discontents and aggregates them to work together. David Snow et al. (1986) considered that the pro-life and pro-choice movements, the National Rifle Association, Common Cause, and the Christian Right are all good examples of frame bridging. The narratives about America’s national nature are another example of frame bridging. There have been two parallel narratives of the founding myth of America as a nation: a more civic nation versus a more Christianised one. According to a history textbook for high school and college students, the ideas of the American Constitution and relevant documents reflect the thoughts of some great philosophers like Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu. Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), the author of the Declaration of Independence, was a champion of constitutional democracy who had faith in people’s ability to self-government (Magleby, Light, and Nemacheck 2011: Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies 19). “For Jefferson, Madison, and other genteel rationalists, democracy in religion had proven less sanguine than democracy in politics” (Haselby 2015: 47). In contrast to the above civic nationalistic narration, the Christian nationalists’ narratives highlight the Puritan origin of American myth and God’s providence: “[T]he majority of the colonists were more inspired by the myths of Christian prophecy than by John Locke. They would need to approach modern political autonomy in a mythological package which was familiar to them” (Armstrong 2000: 107). During the eighteenth century, American religious life featured emotional excessiveness. The ministers in mainline churches Christianised the revolutionary narrative of political leaders like John Adams (1735–1826; p. 1797–1801), and they used terms like grace, freedom of the Gospel, and the Kingdom of God to depict a new world where all oppression would end and the Chosen People would become God’s instrument to change the world. Even secularist leaders and scholars adopted the narrative of Christian utopianism. People were inspired to fight against the Satanic British government and the Papal anti-Christ and expected the coming of God’s millennial kingdom. Conspiracy about deism, Freemasons, and “secular humanism” to overthrow Christianity prevailed in the US. “When Thomas Jefferson ran for presi- dent in 1800, there was a second anti-deist campaign which tried to establish a link between Jefferson and the atheistic “Jacobins” of the godless French Revolution” (Armstrong 2000: 110). Like the fundamentalist movements nowadays, the Christian narratives and movements during the late eighteenth century “gave people who felt disenfranchised and exploited in the new states a means of making their views and voices heard by the more privileged elite” (ibid.: 114). Christian nationalistic narratives have been bridging the religious and political institutions from the founding of the US. According to James Aho, “Ameri- can right-wing politics has appropriated from popular Christianity several tenets: the concept of unredeemable human depravity, the idea of America as a specially chosen people, covenant theology and the right to revolt, the belief in a national mission, millennialism, and anti-Semitism” (Aho 1996: 193). Through a religious narration of past and present social-political situations, the Christian Right reshapes the history and future of America. As the British historian Elie Kedourie (1926–1992) said, “nationalists make use of the past in order to subvert the present” (cited in Marx 2003: 29) and Anthony Marx (ibid.) further explained that nationalists “may even more pro- foundly subvert the past in order to create the present.” Frame amplification refers to “the clarification and invigoration of an interpretive frame” on some issue or problem (Snow et al. 1986: 469). During the amplification process, some values will be emphasised to reinforce one’s group iden- tity and group prospects. Beliefs about the cause of a problem and the related griev- The book Government by the People (2011), now in its twenty-fourth edition, is a national college- level textbook for the Advanced Placement US history course. Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context ance, antagonists, efficacy of action, and the necessity and propriety of standing up are essential elements related to the mobilisation of a movement. According to Anthony Marx (2003), most western countries emerged as illiberal forces in an era of absolutism. The ethnic roots of exclusion and intolerance are usually reflected in the us/them narrative that the West uses vis-à-vis the rest of the world today. “Historically, citizenship in the US has depended upon a perceived capacity to bear the material presence of the popular sovereign. Conversely, any group that, like blacks or Chinese, was perceived as unable to bear that burden has never been welcomed” (Kahn 2010). The narratives of national identity and exclusion are also commonly found in religious texts and sermons in the US. The Christian nationalistic narratives aim to defend the tradition or the status quo and are usually reactive to contingent social situations. They tie closely to identity politics and distinguishes between left and right, black, and white, Christian and atheist, Islam and Jews, capitalism and communism, etc. It amplifies the doomsday horror and mobilises people with a fear of turning America into Satan’s hands. For example, the pope was long considered an anti-Christ and an enemy of the US in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When Roman Catholicism became the largest Christian denomination in the US in the 1840s, the Evangelical churches launched the Temperance movement to “oppose the drinking habits of the new Polish, Irish, and Italian Americans” (Armstrong 2000: 116). Some White Christian churches teach that Africans are the descendants of Cain, who bore a physical mark of sin for his disobedience to God; the whites are God’s chosen one to civilise and dominate the earth; and that the separation of the races is God’s ordained action (Jones 2020: 32). The theological elements of restoring a golden age, pre-millennialism, and an individualist view of sin contributed to pre- serving white supremacy; the confidence in establishing a personal relationship with Jesus and holding the absolute truth of the Bible reinforces a closed habit of thoughts among white Evangelicals (ibid.: 125). Jones also noted that both white Protestant and Catholic churches have supported and transmitted white supremacist attitudes with institutional efforts. The chances of holding a racist attitude among the frequent (weekly or more) white Evangelical churchgoers are about four times more of the infrequent (seldom or never) church attenders (ibid: 211–214). A Pew research analysed 12,832 online sermons or services delivered to 2,143 American congregations between August 30 and November 8, 2020. It found that the word “Satan” is the most frequently used one by Evangelical pastors when discussing COVID-19 and the election—when deliberating about the election, Evan- gelical pastors disproportionately mentioned “hell” or “Satan.” They used phrases re- lated to prayer and forces of evil. Six of the ten most distinctive terms in their sermons included the word “pray,” like “pray for our president” (Quinn and Smith 2021). Bob Roberts, the Pastor of an Evangelical congregation in Texas, explained that the Evangelicals tend to mix their faith with the nation. The Evangelicals feel a divine Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies call to prevent Muslims from taking over America; they “maintained both a vivid sense of America as a Christian nation and a deeply-rooted exclusive theology that remains suspicious of those outside the fold” (Bruinius 2017). Frame extension involves the efforts to expand the adherent pool by linking personal and group interests together for a common end. During the frame extension process, Christian fundamentalists responded to the US social problems in the past century and reached out to social groups with similar religious and political outlooks. With the development of the Christian fundamentalist movements, the Christian nationalist narratives significantly influenced education, mass media, and politics in the country. Since the 1920s, fundamentalist Christians began opening schools of their own. By 1930, there were already fifty schools, and another twenty-six were founded during the Great Depression (1929–1939). For example, students at Bob Jones University (founded in 1927) were required to take at least one Bible course each semester. Students were also requested to attend church and adhere to a Christian life- style with strict discipline. Fundamentalist Christians also established their own pub- lishing and broadcasting companies, facilitating evangelisation, and reaching out to a larger population. During the significant development of the fundamentalist radio and television networks in the 1950s, Billy Graham and some other pastors emerged as famous “televangelists” (Armstrong 2000: 239). The fundamentalist media and their growing population attracted attention from right-wing politicians and forged the ties of cooperation between the religious and political conservatives. American political leaders appealed to America’s belief in God to unite Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in America’s mission as a Christian nation against the godless, communist Soviet Union. “Within this ethos, the values of democracy and freedom became intricately linked to America’s foundation in Judeo-Christian origins, and its role as a guarantor of liberalism and democracy” (Omer and Spring 2013). In the 1960s, the Cold War narrative gradually expanded from the interna- tional political arena to the domestic context in the US. American Christian conserva- tives launched campaigns against political liberalism, big government, the sexual revolution, abortion rights, equal rights for homosexuals, and secular humanism. They rejected the modern ethos of secularists, as well as the liberal Christians. Thus, the Cold War between the East/West camps gradually shifted into an internal Culture War between the liberal and conservative political-religious camps. In the 1970s, the wave of the 1960s liberalism continued. Conservative populations were alarmed by the young generation with godless ideas, the flourishing of secular humanism, the rapid expansion of state power, the confining of religion to the private space, the legalisation of marijuana, etc. More and more people turned to fundamentalist or “electric churches,” and many famous new televangelists emerged during this period. Parents removed their children from public schools, and Evangeli- Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context cal schools’ enrolment increased sixfold between 1965 and 1983 (Armstrong 2000: 293). To claim the lost space in public arena, the fundamentalists entered the political sphere as the “Religious Right.” They were determined to use the electoral vote to gain power and lead America to the path of piety. In 1980, the Christian Right, or conservative Christianity, emerged into public view during the presidential race. “In every national presidential election since, the voting patterns of religious Americans can be accurately described this way: majorities of white Christians—including not just Evangelicals but also mainliners and Catholics—vote for Republican candidates, while majorities of all other religious groups vote for Democratic candidates” (Jones 2020: 21). Leaders like Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush have claimed God’s name in public and confirmed the US calling to a divine purpose and national mission. The Christian Right assembled into organisations like the “Moral Majority.” They continued to fight the battles of anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, anti-drugs, anti-feminist, and anti- communist across the cultural and political arena. In the 1990s, the Christian-right movement surged with the white conscious- ness movement in public view. They tried to defend themselves against the imagined existential threats from racial, biological, and leftist cultural corruption. According to a National Rifle Association fund-raising letter, the US government is “a threat to freedom of religion, the right to carry weapons, freedom of speech, and the right to have one’s property secure from illegal search and seizure” (Aho 1996: 193). By this time, the Christian far-right narratives had gradually fortified their organisational foundation and mobilised anti-establishment forces. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Islamophobia began to haunt the US for the following twenty years. A few days later, on September 16, President George W. Bush (2001) announced: “This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient.” The President’s statement expressed the American Christian long-felt threat from the Islamic culture. It encouraged the so-called Crusader Christians, or the hard-right Christians, to gather with a strong sense of Christian national identity. During President Obama’s administration (2009–2017), the fear of expanding the influence of Black rights, Muslim immigrants, cultural diversity, and globalisation led to a further Christian nationalist backlash. “Moral Majority” was a political action group founded in 1979 by the Baptist minister Jerry Falwell Sr. (1933–2007). It promoted conservative Christian values and agendas like strict laws against abortion and the allowance of prayer in public schools. It played a key role in mobilising conservative Christians to support republican presidential candidates throughout the 1980s. The National Rifle Association was founded in 1871 to advance rifle marksmanship. It has been non-partisan and downplayed the gun control issues. In the 1970s, it gradually aligned with the Republican Party and conservative politicians. It has been a crucial funder for the republican candidates at every electoral level since the 1980s. Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies In short, the Christian Right movement “signified a particular wedding of socially conservative Evangelical Christianity with conservative politics that contin- ues to shape the Republican Party to this day” (Berry 2017: 1). In the past century, Christian fundamentalist teaching and its effort of institutionalisation prepared the soil for the rise of Christian nationalism. The internal social problem, the changing interna- tional configuration, and the trend of globalisation paved the way for the development of the Christian far-right. Frame Transformation process consists of domain-specific and global inter- pretive frames, aiming at transforming some domain of human society or the world altogether. The related social movements usually seek dramatic changes in status or treatment of some social problems. These narratives or movements are usually in- spired by world-transformative goals, including a radical societal shift across all in- stitutions. Most millenarian movements exemplify the frame transformation project (Snow et al. 1986). They usually expect a world transformation, Rapture, and an achievement of final justice at the doomsday. By the late nineteenth century, the pre-millennialism taught by John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) began to take root in the US. Pre-millennialism holds that Jesus will return to earth before his thousand-year reign on earth, and Satan works actively in the world during the Church Age before Jesus’ second coming. The battle between Satan and the angel is constant, and the modern world is destined for destruction. The pre-millennial narrative interprets political or religious others as evil enemies and views reconciliation or the middle ground as a betrayal of God. Conservative Evan- gelicals usually hold pre-millennial regressive worldviews and radical negative senti- ments against people with different political or theological stances. They tend to blame the chaotic situation on specific groups, like the leftists or the communists, who are considered anti-Christ and shall go to hell. In the pre-millennial narrative, the CO- VID-19 pandemic is interpreted as God’s punishment over the evil people or nations. Compared with pessimistic pre-millennialism, A-millennialism and post- millennialism hold more optimistic worldviews. A-millennialism maintains that the Church Age and the Millennium are taking place now. Post-millennialism believes that the Church Age will culminate in the Millennium when the church will have made the world “Christian.” They both hold that Satan is bound during the church period and that the Church of God’s chosen nation, like America, had brought order and peace into the world. A-millennialism and post-millennialism express hope for a peaceful life but could encourage the church’s triumphalism and messianism or the chosen nation’s superiority over other nations (Robinson 2011). During the pandemic, teaching post-millennialism could encourage pride in countries with some advantage in battling the virus. The frame transformation process could involve reframing some set of conditions or rules with radical activism. When engaged with the right-wing political forces, the Christian fundamentalist and Christina nationalist movements could trigger Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context far-right activism or even violence. During the transformation process, what was con- sidered moral or legal in the past could be redefined as immoral or illegal, and violence could be justified to subvert the government or the present orders. Karen Armstrong has argued that millennian movements could be totalitarian. When every law of the Bible is put into practice, there could be no room for different opinions or policies. When Christian identity is bonded with a vision of a Christian nation, there could be no tolerance for rival parties and no respect for individual freedom: “A revolution against tyranny could become tyrannical in its turn; a campaign to abolish the separa- tions of modernity in order to achieve an integrated, holistic state could become totalitarian; the translation of the mythical, messianic, or mystical visions of the fun- damentalists into political logoi was dangerous” (Armstrong 2000: 303). The Christian Right narratives about the 2020 US electoral fraud and the 2021 US Capitol attack are typical examples of the transformation of the narrative frameworks. The Christian nationalist narration exerted profound modification to the democratic order in the US and even to the global interpretive frames on freedom, human rights, and sovereignty. Christian nationalist therapy suggested by Samuel Huntington (2004) might give Americans an answer to the question of “Who Are We?” However, as an ideology rooted in fear, it can hardly cultivate peace. In the January 6 attack at the Capitol, when the patriotic Christian nationalists stormed in the edifices and shouted, “hang Mike Pence,” we see that theologies and politics of rage, resent- ment, and revenge could produce paranoid, conspiracy-laden, and vengeful fantasies against people who think differently, thus justifying chaos and murder. Based on the four-step Frame Alignment theory of frame bridging, amplification, extension, and transformation, the above part of the article reviewed the historical, social, and theological factors for the development of Christian na- tionalism in America. We saw how the Christian nationalist narrative built up the his- tory of America as a Christian nation through frame bridging effort; how American identity was established through an exclusive narrative of religious identity, race, friend and foe amplification; how the Christian fundamentalist movements extended their influence through their establishments in education, media, and politics; and how Christian millennialism theologies related to a utopian prospect for the American society. The Christian far-right narrative in Chinese American virtual communities also bears similar traits as displayed in the four-step alignment framework. The latter will help evaluate how the Chinese American Christian Right virtual community responded to the pandemic and the related global issues. Next, I will introduce the Chinese American Christian Right groups and their ideology observed in this research. Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies Data and Methodology I collected texts and video documents from some of the most popular Chinese Christian Right social media. The contents analysed include YouTube videos, TV announcements, Tweets, articles on WeChat public accounts, topics of group con- versation, etc. The hosts of these social media have many followers on their YouTube and Twitter platforms. These hosts’ opinions might differ on various issues, like whether there was systematic fraud in the US 2020 election, or the Russian invasion in Ukraine is a just war. However, they all believe that only the Christian faith could reshape the human spirit and create a great nation. Their narratives carry typical characteristics of Christian nationalism. Eric Zhāng (Zhāng Xún 張洵), Rèn Bùmèi 任不寐, Xú Sīyuǎn 徐思遠, and some writers of the Christian Right media “North American Conservative Review 北美保守評論” are the most representative of the Chinese Christian Right. Eric Zhāng is one of the most famous social media influencers among Chinese conservative Christians. He is an international business and investment con- sultant who came to the US from China about twenty years ago and set up his own business. He was once a board director at the Ohio branch of the Southern Baptist Church. In 2005, Zhāng opened his account on the Weibo platform and released his comments on Chinese society and culture. In 2019, he opened a personal channel on Mirror TV, a branch of an overseas Chinese media group. In March 2020, he set up two YouTube channels covering political, economic, and cultural topics. From 2020 to July 2022, Zhāng uploaded more than 300 videos to his Inquiry of Truth EZ Media (Xún jīng wèn dào 詢經問道) channel. By July 2022, the channel’s click rate reached 1,748,700, and around 165,000 people had subscribed to it. The highest click rate of his single programme in which he was criticising idolatrous Chinese culture reached 110,000 (Zhāng 2020a). Rèn Bùmèi was one of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square Movement in 1989 and later a pastor of a Lutheran church in Canada. He set up a YouTube preaching channel named Chinese Specific Ministry Pastor (CSMP) Bible Course in 2016. According to the introduction of the CSMP course, the teaching is based on Concordia Lutheran Theology Seminary’s Special Pastoral Program. The programme is based on the Bible and aims to offer a course for Chinese seminary students. As of July 2022, Rèn had released around 400 preaching videos on YouTube. His channel had 19,000 followers, and the click rate reached 20,165,034,000. In June 2021, Zhāng announced that he would quit using his Twitter account due to (an alleged) harassment by the Chinese National Security. Later, Zhāng deleted all contents on his Twitter ac- count. He also close his Inquiry of Economics and Politics 詢經問政 channel on YouTube because of the platform’s regulative policy on political contents. However, he still maintains the Inquiry of Truth EZ Media 詢經問道 channel updated with his newest video programmes. Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context Xú Sīyuǎn is an active social media host who established his YouTube channel in 2019. He gave up his well-paid job in China and came to the US. He joined YouTube as early as 2013. By October 2021, he had uploaded more than 900 videos, and more than 23,700 people subscribed to his channel. After he deleted this channel by mistake, Xú started a new YouTube channel on September 8, 2022. Within a month, he uploaded 90 videos to this new Kù lùn 褲論 channel, restoring about 2,200 sub- scribers. Besides those popular social media hosts, I also observed ten right-wing WeChat and Telegram groups in the past four years. Each group has 70 to 300 members. The Christian far-right group observed in this research are Chinese- speaking Christians who live in America or Canada. Many of the group members belong to the Evangelical and Baptist churches in midwestern and south US. They have named their WeChat or Telegram groups “True Right,” “The Fighters,” “Texas for Trump,” etc. Many of them are Republicans and Trump supporters. Some work for companies, churches, TV channels, Christian journals, and more. Many have been actively sending texts, audio, and video materials on social media to support President Trump and encourage people to vote for him. Most of the observed Christians belong to the middle class, have completed their higher education in China, and later began to work in the US. Most Chinese American Christians observed in this research are immigrants from mainland China and have lived in the US for more than ten and up to forty years. From the group chat and related WeChat public account articles, I found that most of them were born in communist China after the 1960s. They grew up in a world immersed in the Cold War discourse. They witnessed the brutal political purges in totalitarian countries after the 1960s and the fall of the communist governments in Europe after the 1980s. Some received a visa as exiles after the 1989 Tiananmen Square Movement. Although none of them have mentioned being persecuted by the Chinese government, some of them did share in the WeChat or Telegram groups about their unpleasant experiences with their friends or families in China. Next, I will adopt the theories of frame alignment, Christian nationalism, and fundamentalism to evaluate how the Chinese American Christian Right virtual com- munity responded to the pandemic and the related global issues. I will also extract the keywords or themes with a high occurrence rate from the collected texts and au- dio/video materials and will evaluate the religious, cultural, or political reasons for their utilisation. Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies Chinese American Christian Far-Right Narrative in Virtual Communities Following the four stages of the narrative-movement alignment framework, this sec- tion will explain the bridging, amplification, extension, and transformation dynamic of the Chinese American Christian Right’s narrative and action. Bridging The Nation’s History and Future Similar to the Christian far-right narrative in the US, in the Chinese Christian Right group’s narrative, it is the Judeo-Christian tradition that makes America great. When Zhāng opened his two channels on YouTube in 2019, he said that the channel Inquiry of Economics and Politics (Xún jīng wèn zhèng 詢經問政) is based on Judeo-Chris- tian values and Anglo-American conservatism perspective and that his channel In- quiry of Truth EZ Media focuses on Christian faith and culture. Both channels aim to “conserve the past of the US, lead the future of China, and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Among the Christian Right WeChat and Telegram groups, the sentence in the declaration of independence, “All men are created equal,” is usually quoted to prove that America is identified as a nation under Christian God by the framers. They usually quoted John Adams saying: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and reli- gious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” (Adams 1798). The subtext here is that Christians are morally trustworthy and superior to people with bad or without faith. The group members were quite encouraged by this ideal. Many Chinese Christians believe that China fails to transit to democracy because the people lack true faith. They think the evangelisation of Chinese people could save their souls and prepare them to become citizens of a modern nation. Many Christians believe that when more Christians get involved in the political process, like serving in government positions and running for public offices, they can make Christian values transparent and gradually institutionalised through legislative procedures to achieve a fairer and just society. Among those WeChat groups, articles like “4 Reasons Christians Should Care About Politics” are frequently shared and for- warded to encourage Christians to vote for the right person (Xiāo 2022). Like American Christians, members of the Chinese American Christian online community are familiar with five theological themes imported from Protestant Christian theology: Americans are the peculiar chosen people of God; Americans have been commissioned to bring freedom and liberty to the world; America is a morally and historically innocent nation; America is a sacred land that God bestowed to the https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDryqAH6z_YehYQP6EsQZbg/about (accessed: Septem- ber 15, 2022). Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context white people; and America is a militant warrior to preserve the glorious Christian tradition (Wilsey and Fea 2015: 18). These theological themes frequently pop up in their group conversations. Their narration bridges God’s work in American history and all spheres of life and points to their blueprint of the world’s future. Amplifying the Dichotomy as in a Cold War or Cultural War The concept of Judeo-Christian values has gained popularity since the Cold War period. The Chinese Christian Right community also inherited a Cold War mentality to interpret Judeo-Christian values, emphasising us/them and friend/foe contention between nations, races, ideologies, and religious groups. When discussing political issues or strategies, they tend to make a “either … or” judgment rather than a “both … and” comparison, thus avoiding compromising their religious tenets within the corrupted world. According to Bias Chart Jan 2021 (Ad Fontes Media 2021), the politically neutral (e.g., Ap, Reuters, VOA) and left- or right-wing media with some skews (e.g., CNN web, The New York Times, WSJ, and Christian Today) kept on reporting facts and maintained a high level of reliability. Some hyper-partisan media (e.g., MSNBC, Fox News) offer “analysis or mix of fact reporting and analysis,” or “analysis or high variation in reliability.” The more extreme the media, the higher the probability of offering “selective, incomplete, unfair persuasion, propaganda.” The more radical right-wing media could contain more misleading or inaccurate, fabricated information. Besides, the reliability of web media is higher than the TV media of the same brand. For example, in the Media Bias Chart released in January and September 2021 (Muller 2021), CNN Web and Fox Business are listed as fact reporting, CNN TV and Fox Web are listed as “analysis or high variation in reliability,” whereas Fox TV is listed as containing “selective, incomplete, unfair persuasion, propaganda.” However, the hosts and writers of the Chinese Christian Right social media read and translated mainly from the American political and religious right media. In a YouTube interview programme co-hosted by Zhāng and Elaine Yǔ (Yǔ Lín 雨林), the renowned pastor and theology professor among Chinese Christians Chén Zuǒrén 陳佐人 said that he had been persuading the pastors and co-workers in the states of New Jersey and Maryland not to prescribe the Washington Post or CNN, while some pastors did not repent and refrain from reading these secular media three years later. Chén warned that the theologians might reach conclusions that are skewed from the Bible’s teaching with approaches of social science. Ad Fontes Media is a media watchdog organisation aiming to combat political polarisation. Found- ed in 2018, it is widely known for its Media Bias Chart, which displays the degree of political bias and reliability of internationally renowned media. The latest version was updated in August 2022. Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies Chén’s attitude is quite representative among Chinese American Christians. Most of the observed Chinese conservative Christian WeChat and Telegram groups in this research highly recommended the right-wing media, like Fox TV. They also asked their group members not to listen to or read from mainstream or “left” media. On April 19, 2020, one of the Christian Right virtual groups forwarded and applauded a speech by Fox News TV host Jeanine Pirro. As she put it (Painter 2020): Your models are out of control. The economy is out of control. China is the one out of control. We won’t let you destroy this country or our way of life. We fought too hard to lose it to a Wuhan virus, that’s what I said, the Wuhan virus that China lied about said it couldn’t be transmitted from human-to-human and intentionally protected Chinese citizens from the virus but allowed the virus to be released, putting the rest of the world at risk. When someone responded by posting an article describing Jeanine’s speech as “explosive and unhinged rants” (Painter 2020) in one of the Christian Right WeChat groups, it aroused the anger of the group members. The latter fiercely criticised both Painter and the one who posted the article as “leftist rubbish.” From the author’s perspective, both Painter and the one who sent the link to the group tried to be objective and reasonable. However, such traits are considered the typical characteris- tics of the “leftist” as they believe that human rationality could only lead to corruption and unfairness. Politically speaking, the conservative Christians guard against the “left-wing” media because they consider the democrats to be “pro-socialism” or “pro-Chinese government.” As immigrants from China, they have an aversion to communist totali- tarianism. Therefore, the term “Chinese Virus” first conveys an anti-communist stance in this Christian WeChat group. They consider those who use this phrase and criticise China as their allies, whereas those who reject it are seen as their political enemy or even a spy of the Chinese government. Culturally speaking, Zhāng considers that Chinese traditional culture, characterised by political communitarianism and authoritarianism, is corrupted when compared with the Christian culture. Zhāng calls China the “shithole” country in one of these videos released on his YouTube channel (Zhāng 2018). Reportedly, President Trump used the term “shithole country” in a meeting on January 12, 2018, to refer to countries like Haiti and Mexico. The meeting minutes recorded Trump’s uttering: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” (Yuhas 2018). Although Trump later denied making this remark, Senator Dick Durbin asserted that he heard him do so. Subsequently, websites like nemoshirt.com, donkeyclothing.com, and legendusshirt.com began selling custom T-shirts with the phrase “We bring people from shithole countries because shithole Democrats need Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context shithole votes so they can turn America into a SHITHOLE.” By the end of October 2021, Zhāng’s comments about the “shithole” country on YouTube reached a click rate of 13,560. Zhong’s followers also left messages through Twitter and WeChat, saying that “I am not Chinese” or posting pictures wearing a custom T-shirt with the phrase “I am not Chinese.” Zhāng never hesitated to express his stance as an advocate of Christian Right or conservatism. His comments and articles released on his Twitter, Weibo, and You- Tube accounts identified his “Rightist” position on political and religious issues. For example, one of his Twitter postings released on January 28, 2018, reminded people to “guard against fire, theft, and the Leftists; support Trump, America, and free- dom.” A programme of his comments on current affairs released on January 9, 2020, with the title “Ignorant and Incapable, the Leftists Got a Slap in the Face Again; Trump Tells the World How to Achieve Peace” (Zhāng 2020b). By October 2021, this video’s click rate exceeded 17,290, and more than 125,000 people subscribed to Zhāng’s Inquiry of Truth channel. Zhāng’s political comments on social media show- cased how political topics and religious discourse combined can become influential social forces. Zhāng’s political and religious comments soon met with criticism from some liberal-minded Chinese. Kuí Yáng 葵陽, a Chinese dissident, released a video and questioned Chinese Christians’ intolerance of non-believers. He wondered why the Chinese Christians would always talk about God’s name and take any chance to advocate their religion while the foreign Christians he knew never mentioned God’s name during their daily communications. Zhāng retweeted Kuí Yáng’s video and commented: The brain-disabled Shinajin [Zhīnà rén or Chinaman 支那人] always talks about the foreigners that he contacts. It’s not only of low self-esteem but also ignorant. I work as the board director in a church association with 700,000 followers (99.9 per cent of them are so-called “foreigners”) and 1,800 churches. The “foreigners” I contact all talk about God all the time and advocate Christian doctrines everywhere. Isn’t it strange? After being enslaved by traditional Chinese culture, he knelt and licked the boot of the West leftist. That is why Shina is still in the hands of thieves. Today, these Shinajin are still stubborn and despiteful. After the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), many Japanese used the term “Shinajin” to show their contempt for the Chinese. In 1930, the Chinese government protested the term’s usage to the international society. Until 1949, the word “Shinajin” gradually disappeared from Japanese government documents and public media. As On Legendusashirt, see their website: https://legendusashirt.com/product/we-bring-people-from- shithole-countries-democrats-shirt/. After Zhāng deleted his tweeter account. The message “防火防盜防左派，挺川挺美挺自由！” is no longer available. This message is not visible after Zhāng closed his Twitter account. Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies Liú Ning (2013) explained, “Netizens, who use the term ‘Shina’ mostly express dissatisfaction with the current Chinese government or Chinese national character. They intend to exclude themselves from China, holding a sarcastic mentality.” When Zhāng could readily use the words “Shinajin,” “Chinese virus,” or “Wuhan virus,” he manifested a determination to reject Chinese identity both politically and culturally. Similar minds come together, especially in an age when the internet connects the global community. Kuí’s questions were soon retweeted and criticised by many right- wing Christians and seekers of the Christian faith. Xú replied to Kuí, saying that no president of the US would not mention God when talking, and no president dares not to emphasise his Christian faith repeatedly. Xú’s comments received more than ninety likes on Twitter in just one day. Zhāng’s political and religious comments exemplified two overlapping war models: the Cold War and the Culture War ones. In Zhāng’s narrative, the former implies the enemy/foe relationship between authoritarian communist China and free America and the zero-sum game between American Democrats and Republicans. The latter uses the Christian discourse to justify “pro-freedom, pro-life” Republicans and reject “pro-equality, pro-choice” Democrats. The interpretation of social issues with both war models amplified the division of people along political and ideological lines. When wars are justified with absolute religious tenets, rational and political conversation can hardly be achieved. Extending Political and Religious Networks The conservative Chinese American Christians actively transmit the content of right- wing media in the English language and create a considerable number of contents on various social media in the Chinese language. Through the transmission of and interaction with the political and religious American Right, the Chinese Christian Right extended their political and religious networks and social influence. On April 17, 2020, Zhāng interviewed Jeanne Ives in his YouTube pro- gramme and talked about the “Chinese Issue.” Jeanne Ives is an American politician, a former Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives, and was a candidate for Illinois’ sixth congressional district in 2020. She was a West Point graduate and Army veteran. In the YouTube interview, Zhāng asked Ives about her opinion on the term “Chinese Virus”: When accessed on November 30, 2021, one is informed that Xú Sīyuǎn’s Twitter account is sus- pended, and only part of the comments of this twitter messages are visible. See, https://twitter. com/kuanyikulun/status/1256668916065226756. This video was first released on April 17, 2020, in Zhang’s political channel on YouTube. It was titled “詢經問政|專訪：美國會眾議院候選人 Jeanne Ives女士 [Interview: Ms. Jeanne Ives, Can- didate for the House of Representatives of the United States].” However, this video is no longer available after Zhāng closed his YouTube political channel. Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context Zhāng: Recently, President Trump took some heat by calling the COVID-virus Chinese virus. Later on, he said he no longer called it that way, and then most recently, he began to refer to it as the Wuhan virus, so what’s your take? Ives: I think, in the scientific community, they have frequently called a virus by the name of the origin. Probably it’s more correct to say it’s the Wuhan virus, but listen, we called it the Spanish flu, we called it the Avian flu, we called it the Spain flu. Now people want to make sure that the Chinese Americans and Chinese everywhere are not vilified for this virus, they are starting to call it instead COVID-19, and that’s fine. Or the Wuhan virus, which is probably even more specific in terms of where it originated, and so I think it’s great that the president is backed off and calling it the Chinese virus. But let’s be honest that it is simply a practice that has been practiced before. Call it by the name of origin. Zhāng: That is right, that is nothing special. But from another perspective, many Chinese Ameri- cans have a kind of fear of being discriminated. Ives: […] We need to, of course, be very sensitive to that. I have not heard, maybe you could tell me, Eric, but I have never heard that Chinese Americans have been vilified because it has been called the Chinese virus. I hope that will never happen. Have you ever heard of instances yourself of that occurring or in our district? Zhāng: Well, not personally, not directly, but there are some stories going on around the Chinese social media [that] has [sic] either not been verified or proven to be rumours. Personally, I don’t have this fear, don’t have this worry, and also, it’s been over two weeks since President Trump first bawls out this term, and I don’t think anything serious happened, really. In this interview, both Zhāng and Ives concluded that it is a scientific practice to use geographical descriptors (e.g., “Chinese” or “Wuhan”) of a virus, and President Trump was correct in calling the virus by these two names. Zhāng and Ives perceived facts differently from what people read in mainstream media. Both claimed that they did not know of any hate crime cases against Chinese Americans, and some alleged hate crime stories have proved to be rumours. To Zhāng and Ives, the naming of CO- VID-19 is just another example of political correctness in dealing with a scientific matter. There are many political and cultural reasons for Zhāng and his fellow Christians to favour the terms “Chinese Virus” and “Wǔhàn Virus.” Politically speak- ing, Zhāng considered the Communist Party of China (CPC) under Xí Jìnpíng’s 习近 平 reign the world’s virus. Zhāng and his fellow Christians view the Chinese govern- ment as one of the greatest evils in the world. They accused the Chinese government of its autocracy and brutality and blamed it for unleashing the coronavirus in the world and causing the deaths of millions of people. As early as February 9, 2020, Rèn Bùmèi released his preaching video on YouTube using both “Chinese Virus” and “Wǔhàn Pneumonia.” In this video, Pastor Rèn blamed the Chinese government for hiding information about the plague and restricting the voice of whistleblowers like Lǐ Wénliàng 李文亮 (1986–2020), Chén Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies Qiūshí 陈秋实, and Fāng Bīn 方斌. Unlike Zhāng’s denial of the facts of discrimina- tion that Chinese people faced, Rèn quoted a survey conducted in Canada, saying that one-fourth of Canadians were trying to keep away from Chinese people out of fear of being infected by the virus. But Rèn criticised those Chinese who protested the naming of the “Chinese Virus.” He explained that the right thing for the Chinese is to protest the Chinese government rather than the designation “Chinese Virus.” It is the Chinese government that invited global discrimination or aversion against the Chinese (Rèn 2020). Rèn’s anti-communist stance has gained support from some Chinese Christians and some liberal-minded Chinese intellectuals. By July 2022, this preaching video had accumulated a click rate of 21,860, eighteen likes, and fifty-nine comments. Almost all comments that were visible to the public praised Rèn for his preaching, and the thumbs-down ones were screened or removed. One listener praised Ren as the prophet of the time, and thirty-seven people liked this comment. The support for the designation “Chinese Virus” reflected people’s attitudes towards the Chinese government and the Communist Party of China during the pandemic. Similarly, The Epoch Times, a newspaper sponsored by Falun Gong, named the virus “The Chinese Communist Party Virus” (Frayer 2021). By the end of October 2021, The Epoch Times had released more than 15,600 pieces of news using the term “CPC virus.” The stigmatising terms and phrases generated due to political or ideological conflicts gained high popularity among the Chinese right-wing Christians. The high click rates and comments on the programmes and texts on social media manifested the social impact of the Chinese Christian Right groups. According to Katherine Stewart, “a sector of the media has essentially been enlisted in a propaganda campaign to stoke up nationalist impulses—working with far-right platforms as mouthpieces for disinformation and hate” (Stewart 2019: Epilogue). She further explained how the American and international Christian Right established ideologically motivated think tanks, advocacy groups, and pastoral organisations. They seek power to impose their religious vision on American society. Although not as well organised as the interna- tional Christian Right-wing network as Stewart described in her research, the Chinese Christian Right groups have similar traits. They are extending their social network with modern technology and social media, facilitating the exchange of political and religious views across languages and cultures. Transformation: Christian Utopian vs. Communist Totalitarian Many Christian Right pastors and social media responded to the pandemic and political situation with different millennialism narratives during the pandemic. The By the end of 2021, there are about thirty “dislikes” to Rèn’s video. But, by the end of July 2022, only one is visible. Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context Christian far-right narratives observed in this research exemplified a mixed millenni- alism expression and voiced a world-transformative wish. On the one hand, the Christian far-right narratives conflated the US left-wing government with the Chinese communist government and equally labelled them “Satan.” The pandemic was first depicted as God’s punishment on the Chinese government for its persecution of Chris- tians and later as a leftist conspiracy to control US citizens. On the other hand, it propagated Trump as God’s chosen leader to fight against the deep state’s evil forces, bringing hope to both America and the world. As God’s warriors, the Christian Right will fight with Trump against the evils in the world. On March 14, 2021, Yi Gong, an anonymous volunteer, published an article in “North American Conservative Review” and discussed the lesson Americans will learn from the pandemic. The article said that the US is like the sinking Titanic, and the evil leftists, Democrats, and their allies are responsible for this situation. The progressivism they promote is, in essence, socialism and communism, which history has proven to fail. The leftists will eventually rule the people with despotism and brutality. Although once America was a nation that feared God, now it is going down an evil path. The article concluded by quoting the Bible saying that God used plagues to punish Gentiles and those who betrayed God. If the leftists and the Democrats do not turn back in time from the evil ways they have committed, citizens of the US will suffer greater disasters, and the country is doomed. On June 14, 2022, Zhāng hosted a programme entitled “Christians: The Great Persecution Has Come; The Great Judgment Is No Longer Far Away.” Zhāng and and his co-host Elaine Yǔ summarised the programme’s content, saying that “the Ameri- can left has built a progressive polytheism, forcing Christians to worship gods other than Jehovah. The day of judgment draws near, and the punishment for the worshipers of the beast is more severe than that fall on Sodom and Gomorrah. In this interview, Pastor Chén Zuǒrén criticised the pastors who preach in the church conservative moral principles while essentially identifying with the human rights movements and living a liberal lifestyle. As Rèn Bùmèi explained in one of his preachings, the world is under the threat of a doomsday despotism induced by the Chinese pandemic and the American election. The three evil spirits are the military dictatorship of the Chinese Dream of achieving the great revival of the Chinese nation, the digital dictatorship of the American Dream, and globalism advocated by false prophets. Rèn’s depiction of the doomsday reflected a sense of fear and insecurity of the Christian Right in an ever- changing modern society. In some sense, Trump’s policies somewhat helped to overcome this fear. Trump started a trade war with China and put Xi’s regime in the spotlight. Trump restricted travel from China very early and curbed the coronavirus’ spread in the US. He built up a physical wall at the borders with Mexico and created a psychological security for the xenophobic social groups; he appointed conservative judges and Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies secured the traditional values of America for a relatively long period (Marshall 2020). To Chinese fundamentalist Christians, Trump is the chosen fighter of God to fight against evil and save America. After Trump lost the 2020 election, some Christians compared Trump to the suffering Jesus; when Vice President Mike Pence refused to negate the result, they compared Pence to Judas, who betrayed Jesus for thirty silver coins. Once a political discussion intertwines with religious or millennialism narratives, it could lead to extremes. Once such a discourse clothes the political story with Bible prototypes, it either elevates the favoured political leader to the realm of heroes in heaven or condemns the unfavourable side to hell or doom. In this context: a political issue may be interpreted as a spiritual war between good and evil; a political choice becomes a mere moral issue; a contingent choice becomes one between heaven or hell; a present choice becomes the final or the last one; a political negotiation becomes a deal between Satan and an angel; and reconciliation or middle ground denotes the betray of God. When religious terms are used to interpret practical social problems, then reality and the imaginary world can be confused and a Christian utopian or a Communist one may be sought. When applying millennialism narratives to the already profoundly divided world, different views on facts and opinions could hardly accommodate each other to put forward political or social agendas. In sum, the above examples show that the Chinese Christian far-right narrative bridged the Chinese Americans’ understanding of the US history and future as a Christian nation. It amplified the friend/foe and good/evil division among people of different religious, political, or ideological backgrounds. It helped to extend the network among Christians across languages and cultures, and urged Christians to act swiftly and prepare for doomsday, encouraging them to change the old ways of life and create a new order according to the teachings of the Bible. Compared with the conservative Christian narratives that oppose the excessive intervention of the state into the economy, the Christian far-right narrative encourages a strong anti-establish- ment and anti-elite sentiment. Commonalities of Religious Nationalisms Around the World We have seen that the American Christian Right groups greatly influenced the Chinese Christian Right, while sharing a similar narrative motif. The characteristics of the observed Chinese Christian Right groups and their narratives are also commonly found among the religious nationalists in the US, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South Korea. Considering the example of the countries that were once under com- munist rule in eastern Europe, Juergensmeyer (1993: 147) explained that “the longer the period of secular nationalism, the more strident and united are the religious- nationalist opponents.” Juergensmeyer’s finding could help explain the Chinese Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context American Christian Right groups’ support for the election of a government based on Judeo-Christian values and their aversion to the atheist Chinese party-state and the US leftist government. Juergensmeyer (1993: 173) found that, in the religious fundamentalist movements of some Islamic countries, religious activists could “affirm the general idea of democracy but reject its specific procedures.” The Chinese American Christian Right groups in this research expressed a similar attitude towards the January 6 Capitol attack and Vice President Pence’s affirmation of the 2020 election results. Most of these groups’ members agree that the January 6 attack was a patriotic and heroic behaviour, and Pence betrayed Trump and shall be punished. Among the Chinese Christian Right group members, a woman organised more than 100 people from the south and travelled a thousand miles to Washington, D.C. to support Trump on January 6. The other woman, who is working for an Evangelical church, said that it was a great honour for her to die for the glorious moment in Washington that day. Yun and O (2021) evaluated a thousand South Korean samples. They found that the Korean Protestants’ religiosity (measured by church attendance) is positively related to the fourfold hatred for communism, evolutionism, homosexuality, and Islam. The Korean fundamentalist churches have long been transmitting a conspiracy theory about the interrelations of Marxist and evolutionary concepts, homosexuality, and feminist theories. Also, the more devoted Christians hold on tighter to fundamentalist teachings and radical political stances, and the conservative Christian church usually aligns with conservative political forces. When asked about their views on refugees, 74.3 per cent of Korean Protestants opposed the entry of refugees. Among them, 31 per cent said they opposed refugees because they spread Islam (Yun and O 2021). Similarly, 67 per cent of white American Evangelicals are less likely to support LGBTQ+ rights and abortion (NORC 2020), and 68 per cent are less likely to welcome Islam refugees (Burton 2018). The Chinese American Christian Right groups observed in this research also expressed in their group chat the fourfold hatred of the Korean Protestants. They supported Trump’s hard-line measures against communist China in the trade war. They actively forwarded posters for anti-evolutionism lectures in the group chat. They condemned the LGBTQ+ groups and the feminist movements, and they ardently supported the pro-life actions in their neighbourhood. They shared information in the group about how Muslim immigrants ruined European countries, and they attacked Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, a Muslim woman and house representative, for being a liar. Many of the Chinese Christian Right groups observed are theologically fundamentalist and politically a mix of collective and populist nationalists. They fight for a glorious Christian nation with moral and ideological purity. Like the populist far-right, they fight against the elites and enemies on behalf of “their” people. Their comments on Chinese culture are discriminative and close to American white suprem- acists’ attitudes towards African Americans or other races. Their interpretation of the Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies Christian faith is similar to that of militant Christian fundamentalists, who are always ready to fight against the evil of the secular world and globalisation. They protest their perceived American leftist’s cooperation with the Chinese communist party and feel the need to protect the US from atheists, Islam, and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Christian Nationalism with Chinese Characteristics The above analysis demonstrated that the Christian Right groups observed in this research have a deep distaste for communist social construction. However, as a generation that grew up under the red flag of People’s Republic of China (PRC), they inherited a deep-rooted communal expectation of Christendom. They are seemingly against communist ideologies, but by adhering to a rigid Christian ideology and fol- lowing a similar narrative pattern as the radical Maoist left. Some of them consider Trump as the guardian of Christian moral values like pro-life and religious liberty; and some idolise Trump as God’s chosen warrior to save America, just like the Chinese idolised Mao in the first thirty years of the PRC. Both Maoists and Trumpists emphasise loyalty to the party-state, love for the fellowship or church by excluding the national or religious others, and observe communitarian or authoritarian ethics rather than universal or ecumenical principles. The popularity of the Christian far-right narrative indicated the force of Christian fundamentalism and Christian nationalism as a rising ideology. An ideology is usually politically unifying, adopting dualistic contradictions between the enemy and “us,” alienating dissenters, boasting doctrinaire political teachings, rejecting different ideas, and totalistic in alleged truth (Geertz 1973: 197–198). By clarifying the threat from both within and outside the nation, the fundamentalists created a pure Christian identity from a selective retrieval of traditional precepts and symbols via a political calculation. Thus, they could seek an alliance with different political camps, support and oppose the nationalist movement, or participate under a democratic, authoritarian, or even theocratic leadership (Marty and Appleby 1991: 837–839). As Juergensmeyer (1993: 179) warned, religious nationalists might stand in the shoes of the majority religious community at the cost of the minorities or marginalised groups. The Chinese American Christian Right groups’ exclusivist attitude towards LGBTQ+, women, and other marginalised groups exemplifies such an alert. However, as a marginalised group themselves in American society, how does the Christian Right reconcile the fact that they are seen as the alien “other” by their right-wing white American counterparts, who exclude the Chinese Christians as they do to any immigrants or non-whites? As a group of first generation of Chinese Ameri- cans, most of them feel the inclusiveness of the American society and the kindness of their white neighbours. Few would live in a black neighbourhood for security, Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context educational, or prestige-related reasons. They do not feel the visible discrimination their children could encounter at school, where kids usually only hang out with those who speak the same language and share a similar cultural background. In China, the social group one belongs to or the people one interacts with often becomes the label of one’s identity and social status. By the same token, many Chinese Americans consider being part of the “US mainstream society” a sign of success. Reading and listening to the right-wing media and sharing a similar ideology and fears for the black people make the Chinese American Christians feel psychologi- cally closer to the white Evangelical church, and they will seek to establish some relationship with the political and religious right. The observed Chinese American Christian Right has long been blaming the BLM movement for the violence in Ameri- can society. They have forwarded many videos and photos of African Americans’ violence against whites and Asians to the WeChat and Telegram groups. They blame people’s suffering on the “Chinese Virus” during the pandemic. Disdaining the Chinese identity, they feel safer living in the US. Their narratives reflect the Christian Right groups’ fear of danger and uncertainty. As Marianne Moyaert (2019: 39) ex- plained, by strengthening the negative image of the other, the division or conflict within a society could be covered: “The more others are othered, through exclusion and marginality, the more one’s own identity is preserved as elevated and exalted.” The Christian Right groups observed in this research are not just a sporadic phenomenon. According to the 2020 Asian American Voter Survey by APIAVote, 20 per cent of Chinese Americans said they would vote for Trump, and 56 per cent for Biden (Yang and Zhāng 2020). Many of the Trump voters, though fewer than the Biden voters, are first-generation Chinese American Christians who stand with white Evangelicals in “a Western imperialist, colonialist mentality” and “a hatred of their own Chinese-ness” (Cheng 2020), which is quite different from their children growing up in the US, who care more about climate change, gender, equality, and racial prob- lems. A Chinese American woman explained that she supported Trump because he built a wall: “we Chinese people built the Great Wall, and we kept the Mongols out for thousands of years” (Wang 2016). Many famous Chinese intellectuals and Christian scholars in mainland China even wrote articles and books to support Trump- ism (Hǎo 2020). Although many of these scholars have been fighting for human rights, their own narratives conveyed colonial or racist elements. Even Hú Píng 胡平 (2020), a liberal Chinese dissident and the honorary chief editor of Beijing Spring in New York, argued that the term “Wuhan Virus” is not discriminative because the Chinese government and media themselves had used the term in the beginning of the pandemic. Their view on American politics reflected many Chinese liberal intellectuals’ misunderstanding of today’s democracy in the US, not to mention the Christian Right churches in mainland China. As scholar Zhāng Qiānfān commented, “[i]f Chinese ‘liberalism’ is opposed to equality, to ‘one man, one vote,’ to the separation of church and state and secularism, and to at least some Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies freedoms (such as gay marriage) for religious reasons, and if they advocate a particular religious belief as a kind of national orthodoxy, then what’s left of liberalism?” (Zhāng 2020). Hú Píng neglected the structural discrimination of the authoritarian regime, which is legitimised by state laws and institutions. Institutional discrimination leads to an opposite direction, that is, to a healthy democracy that seeks broader equality and freedom for the people. Hú seemed to ignore that people in Wǔhàn were the first group of persons who had suffered discrimination from the Chinese government and Chinese people outside the city. After the shutdown of Wǔhàn on January 23, 2020, every person who had been to Wǔhàn became a potential COVID-19 carrier and suffered from inhumane treatment. Hotels and restaurants evicted or rejected travelers from Wǔhàn. People reported the vehicles with Wǔhàn license plates to the police, hoping to be placed under government control. People who returned from Wǔhàn would be under strict surveillance and quarantine, and their personal information was released to the public as a measure of prevention. After coming back from Wǔhàn to their hometown, many people encountered unexpected discrimination. A girl received a call from a stranger, saying, “Why did you come back from Wǔhàn? You should have stayed there. You Wǔhàn dog!” (Mozur 2020). Another woman found that the local police welded her door and posted a sign outside that read: “This family came back from Wuhan. Stay away, no contact” (Brown 2020). During Wǔhàn’s lockdown, nobody was allowed to leave the city and the province Húběi. Hundreds of thousands of people who had chronic diseases were forbidden to leave Wǔhàn for treatment. Especially, people from Wǔhàn were prohibited from entering Běijīng. Many Wǔhàn or Húběi people living in Běijīng were quarantined after a short journey to other places. On March 1, 2020, after an infected woman magically went through all the barriers and came back to Being from Húběi, the Běijīng government issued a notice that no one from Húběi would be allowed to enter Běijīng without the authorisation of the government (Xinjin News 2020). There have long been cultural and institutional practices of discrimination based on one’s geographic location and identity in China. Yunxiang Yan (2014) intro- duced the age-old discriminative mindset rooted in a society of acquaintances. Tradi- tional Chinese culture is established on the ground of blood ties. People distribute their social interests according to their position within a family, a clan, and a region. The farther the blood ties are, the fewer people will be bonded by moral reasoning and social responsibility. In such mindset, people have a strong sense of responsibility towards their family, close friends, and related interest groups. At the same time, they do not feel any culpability for exploiting or deceiving distant social groups. This discriminatory in-group and out-group moral reasoning is still dominant in China today, which could be entirely counterproductive in an open and mobile society. In the case of COVID-19, to those who deprived Wǔhàneses’ rights of access to shelter, food, and migration, Wǔhàn people were just a group of unlucky distant others to be Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context readily rejected. People felt they had just reasons to protect their family and friends and exclude Wǔhàn people as outsiders or troublemakers. Besides the traditionally hierarchical and patriarchal power structure, the Chinese party-state exacerbated the culturally formed social inequality through its institutional measures. After 1949, the Hùkǒu 户口 registration system was estab- lished and has served as an institutional means to control migration and movement. It divides people into two separate categories, the urban and the rural Hùkǒu. People with rural Hùkǒu are not entitled to the advantages that urbanites have. These include supplies of food, housing, pension, education, and other social welfare benefits. By unjustly distributing dignity and social wealth among urban and rural citizens, the Hùkǒu system has reinforced the us/them and insider/outsider mindset via institu- tional means (Xia 2019). It has encouraged structural, interpersonal, and internalised racism (Banks 2000) as well as xenophobia in Chinese society. By the Universal Dec- laration of Human Rights standards, discrimination on the grounds of birthplace or social status cannot justify itself by its thousand-year-old history or its institutional support in China nowadays. Therefore, it does not make much sense to say that the term “Wuhan Virus” is not stigmatising simply because the Chinese government would never stigmatise its own citizens. In this sense, when the Christian Right groups and some Chinese intellectuals used the term “Chinese Virus,” they replicated an attitude similar to how the Chinese government treated the weak, sick, or marginalised social groups. When Christian fundamentalist teaching and Christian nationalist emotions are widely spread among churches in authoritarian China, what will be the fruit of the Gospel? Can we expect a healthy democracy where the Christian far-right narrative prevails? Conclusion According to the Christian far-right narrative discussed in this article, communist China is an implacable enemy to America in all spheres; the godless leftists are the friends of the communists and the enemies of America. The conflict between the left and right in America is a battle between Satan and God’s warrior. The Christian far- right narrative privileges Judeo-Christian values as the moral foundation of an ideal political order and the principles according to which today’s political problems can be resolved. It emphasises the glory of a Christian nation, namely, that of America and its past and future. It upholds Christianity’s moral superiority over other faiths and tends to demonise the political, cultural, and religious others. Its binary division of friend and foe as well as the uncompromising political stance on some human rights issues reflect the Christian community’s collectivistic fear and anxiety in modern circumstances. In brief, the Christian far-right narrative reflects a Christian national- Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies ism that is theologically fundamentalist, politically anti-establishment, culturally anti- secular humanism, and morally anti-progressivism. This research focused on discussing the Christian far-right narrative. Most self-identified Christian Right or conservative Christians are not far-right Christians and do not accept far-right narratives. Even within the Christian Right camp, one’s opinions on social issues may vary, and one’s political position on the left/right dipole could change over time. Some could be radically against the democratic establishment and liberal values of modern times, whereas others just oppose the state’s over-in- tervention in the economy. For example, after Zhāng and Yǔ openly supported the Russian invasion in Ukraine, they split up with the editorial board of the two Chinese conservative Christian media, “North American Conservative Review” and “Chinese Christian Life Fellowship;” and, to some extent, Xú Sīyuǎn disagreed on Zhāng and Yǔ’s view on the election fraud. The term “Chinese Virus” is just an example of the far-right narrative, and the collected sources in this research are limited. The article explained that discrimina- tive terms may not necessarily lead to discriminatory behaviour or violence. However, it encourages blaming the marginalised ones and provokes group behaviour for seeking self-venting over the pain of others. Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, considers an exclusivist mindset to be a threat to liberal society. She explained that most societies have a tradition of marginalising others. Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and antisemitism usually emerge as rhetoric but could soon develop into discrimination and even violence. Xenophobia could target any society in disguised theological discourse, political criticism, hatred of outsiders, or intolerance towards certain social groups. It correlates with prejudice and could target any mar- ginalised group in society. “That is fundamentally going to constitute a threat to the kind of discourse and tolerance that are the bedrock of our democracies” (USHMM n.d.). One common characteristic of religious fundamentalism, nationalism, racism, and communism is that they play down the individual value or dignity of the human being. Christian fundamentalism emphasises the authority of the Bible and the church; those who get detached from the fundamentalist values could be the church’s enemies and deserve to be spurned. Nationalism puts a higher value on the interest of the na- tion-state rather than the value of a person; it provokes people’s enthusiasm for the idol of a nation and encourages the fulfilment of individual values through the great cause of a country. Racism evaluates one’s dignity by race and or skin colour. In com- munist China, an individual is like a screw in a big machine; individual life could be meaningful only when it fits into the state machine (Liu 2021: 289–317). The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is the official memorial to the Holocaust in the US. Located in Washington, D.C., it displays documentation and offers interpretation of the Holocaust history in various forms. Liu, Yan (2022) Understanding Chinese Christian Far-Right Narrative in the COVID-19 Context The other common ground of religious fundamentalism, nationalism, racism, and communism is that they all cultivate a sense of group superiority over other groups. Religious fundamentalism emphasises the group’s purity and its moral and spiritual superiority over religious others. Nationalists consider their national interests over- rides international norms or other nations. Racists find pride and superiority in one race over the other(s), and religious fundamentalists find their own tradition and teach- ing to be the purest vis-a-vis others. In communist China, the party identifies itself as the saviour and protector of the people, and it has the responsibility to lead and educate people. Once these ideologies justify their superiority over the other groups, they feel no guilt when insulting and punishing the identified others. They rally around their political and religious leaders and push the uncommitted or moderate actors towards one or the other extreme with the help of social media. By using the stigmatising terms, they differentiate the boundary between them and us. From the above examples, we see how political and religious discourses are jointly applied as an instrument to establish national and religious identities for both groups and individuals. Jürgen Habermas (2003: 56) holds that, in an ideal community, the members in a group shall treat the humanity of the self and the other never as a means but as an end; they perceive others “as members of an inclusive community. No person is excluded from.” As Francis Fukuyama (2018) explained, an over-empha- sis on the left or right stances could only lead to the country’s defeat. The leftists emphasise diversity as the US identity, saying that the US identity is to have no iden- tity or deny common creeds by emphasising specific ethnic or racial identity. The radical right and the new white nationalists tend to drag the US back to an identity based on race, ethnicity, or religion. Fukuyama holds that both the left and right shall cherish the creedal national identity established after the American Civil War. The core of the US creedal national identity lies in “belief in the common political princi- ples of constitutionalism, the rule of law, democratic accountability, and the principle that ‘all men are created equal’ (now interpreted to include all women)” (Fukuyama 2018: 115). In the context of COVID-19, xenophobia, hatred, and violence are on the rise in different forms around the world. The “Chinese Virus” narrative politicises the issue with enmity and confuses the concepts of individual, nation, race, and the government. “The rigidity of any absolute belief system can give rise to fanatic intol- erance” (Inglehart 2021: 167). Racists exclude by race; nationalists by nationality; communists by ideology, and religious fundamentalists in the name of faith. The Christian far-right narrative emphasises a nation’s moral function and impairs a secu- lar nation’s responsibility to protect human rights. Applying far-right Christian narra- tives in politics could lead to radical politics that override law and justice with an arbitrary interpretation of divine texts, downplaying individual rights with communi- tarian values. When people insist on defining who is an insider or an outsider, and when political and religious discourses are applied as the instrument to exclude others, Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies both tactics could lead to violence and bloodshed, especially when the ideas of the state and God’s kingdom become one. ABBREVIATIONS AAPI Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders BLM Black Lives Matter CPC Communist Party of China CSMP Chinese Specific Ministry Pastor ICTV International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses PRC People’s Republic of China SARS Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome USHMM US Holocaust Memorial Museum WHO World Health Organisation REFERENCES Ad Fontes Media. 2021. “Media-Bias-Chart-7.0 January-2021 Licensed Copy.” Online: https://adfontesmedia.com/static-mbc/ (accessed: Sept. 30, 2022). Adams, John. 1798. “Founders Online: From John Adams to Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798.” University of Virginia Press. 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Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 2022
Keywords: Christian nationalism; fundamentalism; Christian far-right; narrative
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