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Who are the Christian Dominionists backing conservative candidates?

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(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images)
Supporters pray during a rally to keep the Mt Soledad Cross on Saturday, January 15 ,2011 in San Diego, California. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the 43 foot cross overlooking San Diego, unconstitutional. Plans to have it removed are put on hold until it can pass

A growing number of religious congregations espouse an ideology called Dominionism that calls for Christians to control or be the primary influence in American government.

Who are the Dominionists and what do they mean for the future of democracy?

Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, an assistant professor of religion and anthropology at Northeastern, and Massachusetts writer and researcher Frederick Clarkson said the once-obscure movement has been gaining political power in the past decades and is a player in local and national elections across the United States.

Dominionism is an umbrella term for certain groups of Protestants and some Catholics who interpret Genesis 1:28 in the Bible, which refers to people having dominion over life on earth, as meaning that Christians should exercise control over most aspects of modern life, Riccardi-Swartz says.

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