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Conservative orientation within Christianity which seeks to preserve the core of the religion and its impact on society.
Fundamentalism, as a religious movement, has its origins in America, but it has reached Europe in modern times. Fundamentalism has one major difference from traditional conservative Christianity: it purports to stand over against society which it claims has lost moral values. A traditional conservative orientation does not involve this severe critique of society.
Fundamentalism has had limited influence in the Middle East and North Africa, since the Christian societies here are always minority groups and have not been in a position to mould the social structures outside their small communities. However, media outreach efforts from American and European fundamentilist groups (CBN and TBN) and mission stations increasingly have an impact in a variety of Middle Eastern and North African countries.
Among the earliest Christian groups that can be considered fundamentalists were the Montanists, and especially the North African theologian, Tertullian.
Muslim fundamentalism is often misguidedly used instead of the correct term, Islamism. The main reason why Islamists should not be considered fundamentalists, is that there are other Muslim orientations that apply and even stricter, more original understanding of the religion. The main person in this was the Egyptian mufti, Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905).

By Tore Kjeilen