Christian democratic parties are political parties that seek to apply Christian principles to public policy. The underlying Christian democracy movement emerged in 19th-century Europe, largely under the influence of Catholic social teaching and Neo-Calvinist theology. Christian democracy continues to be influential in Europe and Latin America, though in a number of countries its Christian ethos has been diluted by secularisation. In practice, Christian democracy often advocates centre-right positions on cultural, social, and moral issues and social market economic policies. In Europe, where their opponents have traditionally been secularist socialists, Christian democratic parties are moderately conservative overall, whereas in the very different cultural and political environment of Latin America they tend to lean to the left. It is the dominant centre-right political movement in Europe.
^Monsma, Stephen V. (2012). Pluralism and Freedom: Faith-based Organizations in a Democractic Society. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 13. ISBN9781442214309. This is the Christian Democratic tradition and the structural pluralist concepts that underlie it. The Roman Catholic social teaching of subsidiarity and its related concepts, as well as the parallel neo-Calvinist concept of sphere sovereignty, play major roles in structural pluralist thought.
^Witte, John (1993). Christianity and Democracy in Global Context. Westview Press. p. 9. ISBN9780813318431. Concurrent with this missionary movement in Africa, both Protestant and Catholic political activists helped to restore democracy to war-torn Europe and extend it overseas. Protestant political activism emerged principally in England, the Lowlands, and Scandinavia under the inspiration of both social gospel movements and neo-Calvinism. Catholic political activism emerged principally in Italy, France, and Spain under the inspiration of both Rerum Novarum and its early progeny and of neo-Thomism. Both formed political parties, which now fall under the general aegis of the Christian Democratic Party movement. Both Protestant and Catholic parties inveighed against the reductionist extremes and social failures of liberal democracies and social democracies. Liberal democracies, they believed, had sacrificed the community for the individual; social democracies had sacrificed the individual for the community. Both parties returned to a traditional Christian teaching of "social pluralism" or "subsidiarity," which stressed the dependence and participation of the individual in family, church, school, business, and other associations. Both parties stressed the responsibility of the state to respect and protect the "individual in community."
^Wankel, Charles (2009). Encyclopedia of Business in Today's World. SAGE Publications. p. 131. ISBN9781412964272. 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.