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Efforts to form a new political coalition targeted at conservatives and evangelical Christians are raising questions about the nature of political alliances and the growing influence of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. Called the American Freedom Coalition (AFC), the group seeks to unite conservatives to work toward common goals, such as traditional values, the sanctity of life, and anticommunism.

Supporters say political coalitions with all groups are necessary to achieve desired goals, but some political observers advise caution. "What the American Freedom Coalition is trying to do is sign up evangelical Christians for a wide variety of broadly stated goals which could have unforeseen applications in the years to come," said Robert Dugan, director of the National Association of Evangelicals' Washington Office on Public Affairs. "I'd have no trouble at all cooperating with the American Freedom Coalition, or for that matter the Unification Church, on a specific piece of legislation we supported, but to join a coalition of which they are a major partner, for a future agenda of political input which is unspecified, I think is extremely dangerous and plays into their hands," he said.

A supra-coalition
According to its promotional booklet, AFC is a "supra-coalition with a higher and more comprehensive goal than the sum total of its parts." It "serves as a catalyst to unite a vast array of groups, activists, churches and community organizations in cooperative and effective action." More than 300,000 individuals in all 50 states have joined AFC since its inception in April 1987.

AFC leadership comes from a five-person national board of directors with Robert Grant, founder and chairman of the lobby group Christian Voice, acting ...

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August 2001

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