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Adherents of Christian Democratic ideologies generally hold that the Christian faith provides the best mechanism for the creation of a just civil society, and that Christian concepts such as stewardship, communitarianism, social justice, and individual morality should be observed in the administration of public policy. Many movements in Europe attempted to meld religious action to political action, but true support did not arise until the late nineteenth century when modernism began to threaten the privileged place of the Church in Western society. Christian Democratic parties saw an explosion of growth in particular after the Second World War; they represented an alternative path resisting both the harsh oppression of secular fascism and communism and the extremes of individualism and materialistic capitalism. During the Cold War, many Christian Democratic parties became active not only in Europe but in other predominantly Christian nations around the globe. Although the specifically Christian tone of many of the major Christian Democratic parties has been muted in the later 20th century (and thus introduces confusion and electoral overlap with conservatives and social democrats alike), it nonetheless remains one of the major ideological strains in the world at large.


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