Rexism was founded in 1930 by Leon Degrelle, a French speaking Belgian. The name derived from the Latin slogan Christus Rex, "Christ the King," which was also the title of a conservative Roman Catholic journal. The ideology of Rexism called for the moral renewal of Belgian society in conformity with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, by forming a corporatist society, curbing democracy and freedom of thought, and imposing Roman Catholic moral teachings by government force. The Rexist movement attracted support mostly among the Walloons, the French-speaking Belgians; it had a counterpart on the Flemish side in the Vlaamsch-Nationaal Verbond, or "VNV". It soon began to ally itself with the interests of Germany and to incorporate Nazi-style anti-Semitism into its platform after Adolf Hitler's rise to power, and got financial support from German Nazi interests.
Closely affiliated with Rexism was the Legion Wallonie, a paramilitary organization along the lines of the SS. After World War II broke out, the Legion Wallonie was eventually incorporated into the Waffen-SS.
After the fall of Nazi Germany, Degrelle fled to Generalísimo Francisco Franco's Spain. He was convicted of treason in Belgium and sentenced to death, but requests to Spain to extradite him were unavailing. Degrelle died in Paseo Marítimo, Malaga in 1994.