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Cory Burnell wants to set up a Christian nation within the United States where abortion is illegal, gay marriage is banned, schools cannot teach evolution, children can pray to Jesus in public schools and the Ten Commandments are posted publicly.

To that end, Burnell, 29, left the Republican Party, moved from California and founded Christian Exodus two years ago with the goal of redirecting the United States by “redeeming” one state at a time.

First up for redemption is South Carolina. Burnell hopes to move 2,500 Christians into the northern part of the state by next year and to persuade tens of thousands to relocate by 2016. His goal is to fill the state legislature with “Christian constitutionalists.”

Christian Exodus officially started in May 2004, reaching people mainly through the Internet. Since then, five families and two individuals have relocated to South Carolina, Burnell said. The organization, which claims about 1,000 members, held its first conference October 15-16 to promote its agenda. About 50 people from as far away as Ohio and Oregon attended.

Burnell picked South Carolina partly for its Christian majority and conservative politics. “Historically, Southerners do have a states’ rights mentality,” he said. “Christians in the North are experiencing the most liberalism, or you could say persecution…”

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