The Missionary Majority: American Evangelicals and Power in a Postcolonial World


Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs


Warren Center for Studies in American History


This project analyzes the growth and influence of American evangelicals’ missionary work across the Global South, from 1945 to the present. It demonstrates how millions of Americans built their international power and how they developed the cultural and political goals that they seek to achieve through global religious activism. US evangelicals’ efforts to spread their gospel throughout a decolonizing and postcolonial world most changed their ideas and practices related to race and sexuality. Most notably, these shifts produced the spiritual blueprint for colorblind racism and transformed evangelicals from the biggest foes of AIDS victims domestically to the face of AIDS relief internationally. The results of this research will be disseminated as a book and scholarly articles, in op-eds, and through conversations with journalists who cover international NGOs in the Global South.