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Published: July 4, 2011

International Sunday School Union

A large-scale affiliation of American and Canadian Protestant Sunday schools formed in the 1870s by evangelical ministers to unify the Sundayschool curriculum. Organized in 1817 as the American Sunday-School Union, its expansion to include Canadian churches and other evangelical organizations was prompted by the arrival of growing numbers of non-Protestant immigrants. The union sought to resolve the conflicts that had divided Protestant sects since the Reformation and to create a Protestant Christian America by making Protestantism and Americanism inseparable and interchangeable. This they hoped to achieve by ensuring that all Sunday schools in the United States (even those of southern blacks) used and taught the same biblical materials every Sunday of the year. (See also EVANGELISM.)

7 July 2011 14:00

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Thanks for mentioning the American Sunday School Union, but I wonder if you could post your source for your information about its becoming the International Sunday School Union. I work for American Missionary Fellowship (www.amfmission.org), and all our history books say that we are the continuation of the American Sunday School Union. In fact, some of our missionaries actually worked for the ASSU before the mission changed its name in 1974. We have one or two missionaries in Canada, but our focus remains national -- i.e., on the United States. I never heard of the International Sunday School Union, and I would like to know more if the two organizations are indeed connected.