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Orthodox Christian churches are drawing in far-right American converts

When Sarah Riccardi-Swartz moved from New York City to a small Appalachian town in West Virginia in the fall of 2017, she was searching for an answer to a puzzling question. Why had a group of conservative American Christians converted to Russian Orthodoxy?

“It’s typically an immigrant faith, so I was really interested in that experience and why it spoke to converts,” said Riccardi-Swartz, a postdoctoral fellow in the Recovering Truth project at Arizona State University.

Riccardi-Swartz’s study focused on a community of mostly former evangelical Christians and Catholics who had joined the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). The West Virginia location, in addition to having a church parish, was also home to the largest English-speaking Russian Orthodox monastery in the world.

Read more at NPR.

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