|Founded||2003 by Cory Burnell|
|Type||Christian secessionist organization|
|Focus||Make South Carolina/Idaho "secede" from United States as Christian Republic|
|15 families  - 1500 individual members|
Christian Exodus is a Christian secessionist group. Initially, they attempted to organize a mass movement to South Carolina and later Idaho. Currently, the goal of Christian Exodus has been to pull members together into micro-communities, through social networking, and encouraging its members to live through what it calls 'personal secession'.
Purpose and direction
The purpose of this group is to gain sufficient political power in a locality so as to leave American society and establish an independent nation with a different culture. (This assumes that American society would voluntarily accept such an action because the group assumes that the collapse of current American society is imminent.) According to their literature, Christian Exodus believes that the United States has strayed from its founding vision.
A statement from their website reads:
|“||ChristianExodus.org was founded in November of 2003 in response to the moral degeneration of American culture, and the rampant corruption among the powers that be. The initial goal was to move thousands of Christian constitutionalists to South Carolina to accelerate the return to self-government based upon Christian principles at the local and State level. This project continues to this day, with the ultimate goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire. We have learned, however; that the chains of our slavery and dependence upon godless government have more of a hold on us than can be broken by simply moving to another State.
As many like-minded Christian activists pursue independent Christian living without relocating, the scope has expanded to promote "personal secession" though many and various tracks, wherever they can be implemented. The long process of disentanglement from idolatrous dependencies includes such practices of moving towards a home-centered economy, with intentional community, home-schooling, home-gardening, house churches, health-cost sharing, private exchange, unlicenced ministry, and any other way in which we might live free and godly lives in Christ Jesus, without prostrating ourselves to eat from the hand of the imperial magistrate.
History and affiliations
Christian Exodus was modeled after the Free State Project, a group that aims to relocate 20,000 libertarian activists to New Hampshire. Members of that project promised to relocate within five years of 20,000 others signing a similar pledge. Christian Exodus' founding documents contained language similar to that in the Free State Project's Statement of Intent and Participation Guidelines, but founder Cory Burnell has aimed recruiting at an ideologically different segment of the population. It has announced intentions to move people to selected cities and counties of South Carolina in stages, with each stage timed to influence a particular election cycle. The group has the stated goal of encouraging the relocation of thousands of Christian families. The first city in South Carolina targeted was Anderson, South Carolina. The group claims that some 15 families have relocated. In addition to South Carolina, the group announced in the Fall of 2007 that Christian Exodus supporters would also settle in Gem County, Idaho. Some of their members are also moving to Panama.
Throughout 2004 Christian Exodus worked closely with the Southern nationalist League of the South to build support in South Carolina, but in recent years has distanced itself publicly from the League. A 2006 goal to relocate 12,000 individuals to South Carolina was not met. To date the group claims that only about 15 families have relocated to South Carolina. Founder Cory Burnell still resides in California despite his own earlier efforts to relocate.
In late 2007, the group announced that a separate contingent in Idaho had been founded. According to reports the group is made up of several families already settled in Gem County, Idaho who share the original view of Christian Exodus, but are unwilling to relocate to South Carolina. The group is led by Paul Smith, a former Congressional candidate. In the spring of 2007, Cory Burnell stepped down as head of the organization, citing his inability to find work in South Carolina, and subsequently Keith Humphrey became the Executive Director of the organization.
Christian Exodus and the Constitution Party share a number of members, especially in the former's leadership.
- Carey, Liz. "Christian Exodus leader still planning to move to Upstate". Independentmail.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Carey, Liz. "Christian Exodus leader to step down » Anderson Independent Mail". Independentmail.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Misty Showalter, CNN. "Unplugged Christians living off the grid". CNN.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- "Christian Exodus About Us". Christianexodus.org. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Cenac, Heidi. "Christian Exodus targets Anderson County". Independentmail.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Christian Exodus leader says group expanding to Idaho community
- "Latin America". Christianexodus.org. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Group promotes secession from U.S.
- "Christian Exodus Newsletter #4" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- "Will 'Christian Exodus' move to Southwest Idaho?". Idahopress.com. 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- "Christian Exodus FAQ Political Position". Christianexodus.org. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Christian Exodus homepage
- A Free (and Christian) South Carolina?
- Christian Exodous: An anti-government religion
- Bloggers tell Exodus to take a hike
- Christian Exodus targets Anderson County
- Local conservatives wary of Christian Exodus
- Christian movement moving in
- Save America Summit homepage
- Abandoned SC movement
- Christian Exodus leader steps down
- May 2010 CNN article