According to Richard Hakluyt—the great geographer who was perhaps the most influential proponent of establishing English colonies in America—rulers are not only to defend Christianity, but to promote its advancement as well. In 1584, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, he wrote the following:
Now the Kings and Queens of England have the name of Defenders of the Faith. By which title I think they are not only charged to maintain and patronize the faith of Christ, but also to enlarge and advance the same. Neither ought this to be their last work, but rather the principal and chief of all others, according to the commandment of our Savior, Christ, Mathew 6, First seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof, and all other things shall be ministered [added] unto you.
-- Richard Hakluyt, A Discourse on Western Planting, Written in the Year 1584. (We modernized the spelling.)
Richard Hakluyt pictured in Bristol Cathedral