Christian democracy is a religious and political ideology that believes democracy, human rights, and the Christian faith are mutually compatible. Adherents of Christian democracy are known as Christian Democrats or Centrist Democrats. Christian democracy is often considered centre-right on cultural, social, and moral issues (and thus a supporter of social conservatism), and it is considered centre-left "with respect to economic and labor issues, civil rights, and foreign policy."
Christian Democratic political parties are represented in an international organization known as the Centrist Democrat International (CDI). Most Christian Democratic parties are also members of the conservative international organisation: International Democrat Union.
Prominent Christian Democrats
- Konrad Adenauer, first chancellor of West Germany after World War II and architect of the social market economy
- Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party
- Helmut Kohl, chancellor of West Germany and later the unified Germany
- Éamon de Valera, president and prime minister of Ireland, whose Constitution of Ireland was influenced by Catholic social teaching
- Andrzej Duda, current Polish president
- Lech Kaczyński, former president of Poland
- Angela Merkel, since 2005, the first female Chancellor of Germany and leader of the Christian Democratic Union
- Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain and leader of the People's Party.
Christian Democracy versus Liberal Conservatism
Although Christian Democracy and liberal conservatism are both moderate conservative ideologies there are fundamental differences. A simplistic way of explaining the difference would be to say that while Christian Democrats are socially conservative and economically liberal, so-called liberal conservatives are socially liberal and economically conservative. Many formerly Christian-democratic political parties have been shifting towards a globalist, liberal-conservative ideology.
- Wankel, Charles (2009). Encyclopedia of Business in Today's World (in English). SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781412964272. Retrieved on 5 July 2016. “The basic tenets of Christian Democracy call for applying Christian principles to public policy; Christian Democratic parties tend to be socially conservative but otherwise left of center with respect to economic and labor issues, civil rights, and foreign policy.”