They've been called radicals, militants or zealots. Christiane Amanpour calls them "God's Warriors. " The CNN reporter's three-part series...

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They’ve been called radicals, militants or zealots. Christiane Amanpour calls them “God’s Warriors.”

The CNN reporter’s three-part series on the subject, scheduled to air on the cable news channel, looks at Jews, Christians and Muslims who have aggressively brought their religious faith into the political arena.

These fervent believers change social policies, shape the course of national elections and influence global affairs. A small minority use terror to achieve their ends.

Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent and one of the most recognizable faces in broadcast news, spent eight months working on the special, which will be shown in two-hour segments.

It’s hard to overstate the impact religious fundamentalists have had in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, Amanpour said in an interview following a CNN session with critics in Los Angeles.

“We’re talking about the [members] of these three faiths who feel that they have a direct line to God and that religion needs to be brought from the personal into the public sphere,” she said.

For the segment on Christian activists, scheduled to air Thursday, Amanpour sat down with the Rev. Jerry Falwell for what turned out to be the evangelist’s last interview before his sudden death in May.

The winner of numerous awards for her war reporting from the Middle East, Bosnia and elsewhere, Amanpour, 49, was raised in Tehran by a Catholic mother and a Muslim father.

Educated in Iran, England and the U.S., she is based in London and is married to a Jewish American, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Rubin.

“I’ve lived my personal life in a multiethnic, multifaith, multicultural environment,” Amanpour said, “and I’ve spent my professional life dealing with the opposite, [covering] wars based on divisions among faiths.”

For the Jewish segment of the report, which airs first, Amanpour and her crew visited Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, whose legitimacy has been debated by other Israelis for 40 years.

“These are religious people who really believe they’re chosen, that this is their Promised Land,” she said.

A source of outrage to Palestinians, the settlements “have a huge impact on [Israel’s] ability to hammer out a peace agreement.”

For the middle segment, on Muslim activism, Amanpour returned to Iran, where visiting the members of a particularly devout sect meant donning a black robe and scarf that allowed only part of her face to peek out.

“We use Iran as a historic look at martyrdom — where it comes from, what it means and how it was first demonstrated,” she said.

The final two hours, filmed entirely in the U.S., focus on Christian activists from Washington, D.C., to Washington state, with stops in Virginia and Minnesota.

Amanpour found this portion of her research the most surprising part of the project.

“I had never inquired into the nuts and bolts of how Christian conservatives operate here in the U.S.,” she explained.

“We tend to look at them like some exotic subspecies, while they’re actually a huge segment of the population here. They have huge impact, and we can’t afford to treat them as a sort of loony fringe. I think that’s quite clear.”