Albania: Like its Balkan neighbors, has existed at a religious frontier between Catholicism and Orthodoxy for hundreds of years. Unlike its neighbors, however, Albania was largely converted to Islam during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Interestingly, these conversions did not happen on a large scale until the Russe- Turkish wars, wherein the Ottomans were threatened by the Orthodox links between the Russians and Albanians. The conversion, however, was largely successful. Today nearly seventy percent of the Albanian people are Muslim. Significantly though, the religious frontier divides the Albanian people - not only between the Muslim majority and the Catholic and Orthodox minority, but also between diverging sects of Islam (Sunni vs. Bektashi). As such, religion proved less useful than other tools for uniting the Albanians in their various national movements throughout history. Because the Ottoman Empire was also Islamic, the Albanian people were largely content to remain subject to its rule (as was true of many Orthodox Greeks). The ultimate rise of Albanian nationalism came as the Ottoman Empire crumbled and the threat of integration into the neighboring states increased. Although this threat did occur across a religious frontier, the religious fragmentation of Albania meant that a more ethnic approach was adopted. The Albanians' religious differences forced nationalist leaders to give the national movement a purely secular character that alienated religious leaders. The most significant factor uniting the Albanians, their spoken language, lacked a standard literary form and even a standard alphabet. Each of the three available choices, the Latin, Cyrillic, and Arabic scripts, implied different political and religious orientations opposed by one or another element of the population. The subsequent adoption of communism in Albania brought with it extensive attacks on religion, which ultimately had a mixed effect. Although some Albanians were reluctant to pass their religion on their children, others responded by identifying more strongly with their traditional religious ties. Religious Nationalism: Nationalism in Albania is largely secular. A great deal of this secularism can be attributed to the communist attacks on organized religion under Hoxha trom the 1940's onward. More significant are the religious divides within the Albanian nation - most notably the schism within Islam itself. This meant that religion was not the most useful tool for nation-building, and ethnic ties were used instead. The result is a state which features a strange separation of church and state - there is no official religion, no religious symbols are allowed in school, and the link between the people and their various religions is still tenuous after the communist era. Official state holidays are drawn from all tour predominant religions. There are few statistics of church attendance because of restrictions on religion that have only recently been lifted, but the secular attitude of the people is largely accepted. This disjoint between church and people has also meant that religion has had little influence in the actual political sphere in recent years, certainly when compared to any of the three cases discussed in P.1.
Austria: A religious frontier has been largely absent in Austria's history. All of Austria's neighbors are primarily Catholic (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy) with the exception of Switzerland and Germany, both of which are divided between Catholicism and Protestantism. Significantly, southern Germany is strongly Catholic, meaning that the actual religious frontier extends deeper into German territory. It is, however, worth noting that Austria has in the heart of the Religious Wars following the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Austria, however, remained largely Catholic. For much of its history, Austria (as the Habsburg Empire) played the role of dominant power. The Habsburg Empire, at its peak, extended across much of Europe. As such, there was little threat that existed. The one significant religious threat that did emerge came from the expansionist Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. The Habsburg leaders, however, recognized this threat and arranged an extended peace that diminished any true peril from Islam. Later wars (fought with the support of other European states) pushed the Ottomans out of Hungary and weakened the Turkish threat further. During the First World War, the Austro Hungarian Empire did face significant threats from Russia in the Balkans, but these were relieved when Russia withdrew from the conflict. In current politics, the only true religious frontiers are with Switzerland (a neutral state) and Germany, which the Austrian people have long maintained a close identification with - based on linguistic ties. In addition, Austria has put forth a concerted effort to remain neutral in European politics since the end of World WarII. Although there are minor religious frontiers in the Austrian case, none have been truly threatening - at least not in the past century. Austria, like many predominantly Catholic states, features an interesting mixed relationship between religion and nationalism. Over half of Austrians (63%) claim to be religious, although less than 20% actually attend church weekly. These figures are close to the European average. In addition, the form of nominal Roman Catholicism many Austrians practice is called "baptismal certificate Catholicism." In other words, most Roman Catholics observe traditional religious holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, and rely on the church to celebrate rites of passage, such as baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals, but do not go the Church on Sunday’s, or follow the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on central issues. In terms of political religion, the secular nature of Austrian politics is fairly evident. Although there is a history of linkages between the Austrian state and the Catholic Church during the Habsburg era, religious freedom was official policy beginning with the 1867 constitution. Religion today is officially separated from government, and policy reflects its independence for church influence - specifically on issues such as abortion. Therefore, although a large percentage of Austrians still consider themselves religious, the role of the church in national politics is limited. Nationalism in Austria is largely based on heritage and language, as opposed to religion. This can be explained partly by the long multi-national heritage of the Habsburg Empire, and largely by the lack of religious frontiers in Austrian history. The one primary religious frontier was with the mixed German state - which the Austrians related to and felt kinship with. The result is a largely secular nation.
Belarus: The Belarusians are primarily Orthodox in their religion. As such, they do exist on a religious frontier. Although Russia and Ukraine are both Orthodox, Poland and Lithuania are primarily Catholic, and Latvia is divided between Lutheranism and Catholicism. The key divide has been between Catholicism and Orthodoxy - a division which has been exacerbated by constant struggles between the Poles and the Russians. This tension also led to the creation of a Uniate church in Belarus that has also been key to nation-building. Throughout Belarusian history, conflict between religions has played a central role. The Belarusians were initially introduced to Christianity via the Orthodox Church. They were, however, integrated into the Polish Kingdom from the 14th through the 18th century - a union that was marked by the conversion of the Lithuanian King to Catholicism, which in turn led the nobility to convert as well. The peasantry, however, maintained its tie to Orthodoxy. Ultimately, the Uniate Church was created which recognized Rome as its head, but still maintained traditional Orthodox liturgy and practices. By the 18th century, over two-thirds of the Belarusian people were members. The partition of the Polish-Lithuanian state by Russia, Prussia, and Austria in the late 1700s meant that Belarus was almost entirely integrated into the Russian Empire. Russian rule was very harsh - Orthodoxy was forced on the people, the Belarusian language was banned, and the term Belarus itself was outlawed. This harsh treatment led to a rise in nationalist sentiment directed at reunification with Poland, which had been less brutal in its administration. Later, under Soviet rule, the Belarusian people were divided between the Belarusian SSR, Poland, and direct Soviet rule. The Polish state proved to be repressive, going so far as to confine Belarusians to concentration camps in the 1930s. The Soviets were, of course, hostile to religion in general. Today, Belarus finds itself still sandwiched between two powerful neighbors - Catholic Poland and Orthodox Russia. Specifically, Belarus is attempting to maintain a delicate balance between separation from Russian influence and integration with the regional power. Belarusian nationalism is still fairly difficult to categorize. The movement itself has a long history, but the end of Soviet domination has led to resurgence in the past 15 years that is still playing out. It is fair to say that Belarusian nationalism to this point has been largely based on linguistic elements. This is due to the fact that the Belarusian language was useful in differentiation from both Poles and Russians. The fact that Russia is also predominantly Orthodox likely factored into the focus on language over religion. It is worth noting, however, that a Belarusian Exarchate has been established which lends some religious uniqueness to the Belarusian people. There has been a strong movement to associate the Orthodox Church with the Belarusian people in the past five years. In 2002, a law was passed that essentially ended religious freedom and granted special privileges to the Orthodox Church. The President addressed the issue by saying that "The State has always stayed and will stay beside the church, which brings good to the people. This religious rhetoric is playing out as a conflict over power between Polish-influenced nationalists and Russian-influenced nationalists. In terms of nationalism itself, the majority of Belarusians still identify with the Orthodox Church (between 60 and 80%, depending on the source). They are, however, largely apathetic in the religious realm. This identity, however, has started to grow stronger as new laws have restricted religious practice and religious minorities have been increasingly persecuted. This, again, can be explained to some extent by the unique religious identity of Belarus (Catholic-Orthodox) and the prominence of its political neighbors.
Belgium: Belgium does exist at a religious frontier - specifically with the predominantly Protestant Netherlands. There is also a religious divide between Belgium and Germany, although it is less significant for Belgian identity. The division between The Netherlands and Belgium has proven to be one of the more significant factors in Belgian history, as demonstrated by the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries and the Belgian revolution in 1830. Threat- The religious frontier with the Netherlands has fluctuated quite drastically over the past 500 years. Originally unified under Spanish rule, the Netherlands and Belgium were both primarily Catholic, and there was no religious conflict as a result. However, the Reformation spread rapidly through the northern part of the Spanish Netherlands, leading to a Spanish crackdown and a long war between Catholic Spain (and Belgium) and the Protestant Netherlands. In the end, the two were divided into the independent and Protestant Netherlands and the Spanish Netherlands (Catholic Belgium), which remained under to control of the Habsburgs. Since the rulers were also Catholic, the predominant factors in religious nationalism were not truly present. Later, Belgium would fall under the control of Catholic France (which led to a shift in national sentiment) and then the Protestant Netherlands (in 1815). An attempt to convert the Belgians into Dutch resulted in strong nationalist opposition led jointly by Catholic and liberal forces. Independence resulted in a strongly Catholic state; however, the 19th and 20th centuries sawa shift in threat for the Belgians. Specifically, attempts to enter the colonial race, the two World Wars, and the rise of Flemish nationalism shifted the focus of Belgian identity. Today, the divide between the Flemish and Walloons has take center stage (due partially to the absence of other threats) and has resulted in emphases on language, since both are predominantly Catholic. In other words, the primary religious frontier for Belgium (the Netherlands) is no longer an existential or assimilative threat for the Belgian nation. Catholicism remains relatively important in Belgian identity. It would be difficult to ignore the impact of Catholicism in the early 19th century (following independence). During the 19th century and until the end of World War II no other single institution or party could rival the church's ubiquity and influence. However, as the specter of the Protestant Netherlands has diminished, other factors have taken over. Specifically, the majority of Belgians are Catholic and 68% claim to be religious; however, only 15% claim religion is very important. The role of religion in politics has been greatly diminished. The bishops and the clergy no longer intervene in political lite, and the faithful have become completely independent in choosing their political commitments. Due to linguistic divides within Belgium, national identity has in many ways shifted to the sub-state level in order to focus on the divisions between the Flemish (who started the movement) and the Walloons (who are in many ways reacting). The result is a largely secular nationalism that still hearkens back to religion in certain contexts only.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosnia exists at a very distinct religious frontier. As is the case in the other Balkan states, Bosnia lies at the historic fissure between Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Islam. Early on. the Bosnians took a third way in the division between Orthodoxy and Catholicism - opting instead for Bogomilism in the 12th century. Later, when Bosnia fell under ottoman rule, many Catholic and Orthodox leaders fled and much of the Bogomil aristocracy converted to Islam, thus initiating the link between Bosnian identity and religion. However, as an Islamic community living under Ottoman rule, the importance of the religious frontier was much less significant than was the case in Orthodox Serbia (see below). In the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was in recession and Bosnia fell under the rule of the Serbs and the Habsburg Empire, therefore bringing the religious frontier to the forefront as never before. Throughout Yugoslav rule and certainly into the 1990s, the divide between Islam, Orthodoxy, and Catholicism in the region has been emphasized and exacerbated. The fact that Bosnia was apart of the Ottoman Empire for centuries meant that the religious frontier was not threatening in any significant way. In fact, Bosnian identity was based on a geographical conception as opposed to the neighboring Serb and Croat nations which had distinct ethnic and religious linkages. It was not until the 19th century that Bosnian National identity truly began to emerge with a religious element. This was due to two main features: 1) the growth of Serb and Croat nationalism and 2) the subjugation of Bosnia to Habsburg rule. The Bosnian position within the Ottoman Empire had been a privileged one and it as only with the imposition of rule by Catholic Austria that collective identity was stimulated by cultural threat. This threat continued to develop throughout the World Wars and into the Yugoslav era. Most significantly, though, is the threat which has been abundantly clear in the past decade and a half. The growth of Serb nationalism clearly targeted Bosnian Muslims and led the declaration of Bosnian independence. The transition was far from peaceful, though, and the nature of Serb rhetoric meant that Bosnia and Islam became linked together in the minds of the world and in the minds of Bosnians. Ultimately, Bosnia and Herzegovina was established as a federal state with a division between Serb-dominated areas and Bosnian-dominated areas. Each of these groups continues to emphasize religious ties in their push for autonomy and power. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a religiously heterogeneous state. Approximately 40% of its citizens are Islamic, 30% are Orthodox, and 15% are Catholic. However, much of this heterogeneity can be explained by the multi national nature of the state. In other wards, Bosnia contains a large percentage of ethnic Serbs which accounts for the high percentage of Orthodox citizens. If one considers simply the Bosnian nation, the percentage of Islam increases. Like the other former Yugoslav states, the importance of religion within Bosnia is relatively clear. Again, it is important to point out that religion may not necessarily serve religious purposes, but it is undoubtedly important for purposes of self- and national identification. The wars in the Balkans have portrayed religion as an important element, and in elections since the Dayton Accords, there has been a dear division between Serb nationalists and Bosnian nationalists - each emphasizing religion as one key national identifier. Bosnia quite dearly meets the dual criteria of religious identity and political religion.
Bulgaria: Provides an interesting contrast to both the Greek and Polish cases. The comparisons to Greece can be drawn from the fact that Bulgaria, like Greece, was subject to Ottoman rule for a number of centuries. This provided a clear religious frontier that exists to this day with Turkey. Another religious frontier, albeit more minor, exists between the Bulgarians and their Orthodox neighbors specifically Greece. In 1870, the Bulgarians were granted an Orthodox exarchate, a move which did damage to the Greek concept of a solid Orthodox nation. Although the religious differences are much more minor, the Bulgarian church was under the dominion of the Greek Church for some time, and the modem Bulgarian Orthodox Church has been clear in its attempts to differentiate itself from Greek influence. Threat. Bulgaria, a predominantly Orthodox state, had an experience similar to Greece under Ottoman rule. The Bulgarians were allowed to practice their religion and benefited reasonably from Ottoman rule, but their position within the Empire was not as prominent as the Greeks. There was a clear threat to the Bulgarian nation from Islam, and the Bulgarians responded with a strong religious identity much the same way that the Greeks did. This antagonism with the Turks is still prominent today, although recent developments have led to somewhat of anatine. The Bulgarians, however, did receive a great deal of support from the Russians throughout their history, a fact that would have important consequences during the Soviet era. In fact, the Russian support of the Bulgarian nationalist movement led to strong ties (culturally and politically) between the two states. As a result, when the Soviets occupied Bulgaria during the Second World War, they were hailed as liberators - a stark contrast to the greeting received in Poland. The amicable relationship between Bulgaria and the Soviets can be explained by the religious links (Orthodoxy) and the historical ties between the states. Therefore, Soviet power was not viewed as threatening to the Bulgarian nation, but supportive. This meant that Bulgarian identity was not formed in opposition to the Soviets (as in Poland), but rather in opposition to Turkey and the surrounding Balkan states (as in Greece). Bulgaria is another interesting post-Communist state to examine. During the Soviet era, the church was repressed, but not to the extent that it was in other communist states. In addition, the security provided by the Soviet alliance seriously diminished the Turkish threat to the Bulgarian nation. This did not drastically alter the fact that Orthodoxy is a key element of Bulgarian identity. Even under communism, .civil baptism" remained an important Bulgarian rite. With the end of religious suppression, there has been a boom in Orthodox identity and practice. Although Bulgaria is not at the level of Poland, it is important to point out that the Orthodox-Catholic difference may play a key role. Also, in terms of post Communist states, Bulgaria is one of the most active in the religious realm. Only a few years after the end of communism, three-quarters of the population claimed to belong to the Orthodox Church, and over half claimed to be religious - only Poland is higher amongst the post-Communist states. This linkage also translates into political action - religious tolerance is official state policy, but the constitution declares Orthodoxy to be the "traditional religion" and Islam maintains an inferior status owing to its link with Ottoman oppression. Although this political clout is not as evident in social laws (Le. abortion), it should be noted that Orthodox views on abortion differ significantly from those of the Catholic Church. In the end, it is fair to argue that Bulgaria is, in fact, a religious nation. The concept of the modem Bulgarian nation which crystallized in the nineteenth century was defined along linguistic as well as religious lines. According to it, to be Bulgarian is to speak Bulgarian and to belong in faith to the Bulgarian Orthodox church.
Croatia: The Croatian case is fairly straightforward. From the time the Croats entered Europe in the 4th Century, they lived at one of the most prominent religious frontiers in Europe. Originally, the area that is now Croatia was at the very center of the Catholic-Orthodox divide. Later, as the Byzantine Empire collapsed, the Croatians were originally overrun by the Ottoman Empire and were subsequently taken under the crown of Austria-Hungary (a Catholic state). Although the Austrians were also Catholic, Croatia was a part of the Military Frontier Province, and the presence of the Islamic Ottoman Empire was abundantly obvious. This divide between Catholicism in the Austrian provinces and Orthodoxy and Islam in the Ottoman provinces of the Balkans has led to the current tensions between Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia. As a result, Croatia still exists at a religious frontier - most notably with the Orthodox Serbs. In spite of the secular policies of communist Yugoslavia in the twentieth century, these religious differences remained important for Croatian nationalism throughout. The threat from this religious frontier has also been clear throughout Croatian history. Most significantly, the threat from the Ottoman Empire shaped national identity in Croatia. The threat, which truly emerged in the 16th century after the Christian defeat at the Battle of Mohacs, led to the declaration in 1609 that the Catholic faith was the only legal faith in Croatia. The religious threat waned in the 18th century, and by the1800's language reentered the national debate, as it provided a better means for differentiating the Croats from the Hungarian rulers than did religion. lndeed, as hostility to Hungary grew in the nineteenth century, the Catholic Church could be seen at time in almost hostile terms. However, by 1868 Croatia gained some level of political autonomy from Hungary, and soon thereafter national identity once again focused on religion - this time in response to growing Serbian minorities. The advent of WWI meant that Austrian ruled Croats fought against the Russian aligned Serbs, further exacerbating ethnic animosities. Although the two peoples were integrated into one Yugoslav state, the ethnic tensions continued over perceived Serb dominance in the country. In addition, the Nazi use of the Croatian Ustase to destroy Serbian and Jewish populations added fuel to the fire. These tensions would prevail until they exploded in ethnic conflict in the 1990s - conflict which clearly presented a threat to the Croatian nation, as was made dear by Serb rhetoric at the time. Although religious statistics are difficult to come by due to the secular emphasis of communist rule and subsequent social turmoil over the past decade, it is still quite easy to recognize the religious nature of Croatian nationalism. It is important to note once again that the issues involved in the conflict were not religious in nature - rather they were political goals veiled in religious rhetoric. However, the national sentiment was clearly tied to religion in the various nation groups of the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia. The conflict was fought along religious lines, and religion became the key differentiator between groups so that "Bosnian Muslims," "Orthodox Serbs," and "Catholic Croats" became the common phrases used to describe the participants. Regardless of issues of church attendance or political religion (both of which are difficult to asses in a period of civil war), religion was and continues to be an obvious factor in national identity in Croatia. In his brief discussion of the Yugoslav conflict, Adrian Hastings makes the following point: We should note, finally, the very considerable part religion has played in the denouncement of this story. Quite apart from the extent to which it has across history determined the 'ethnic' character of Serb and Croat, it has been used by both in the 1990’s to inflame and justify aggressive nationalism.
Cyprus : Presents a somewhat unique situation amongst the European cases. Specifically, there is a very predominant religious frontier that dissects Cyprus in two. This division has weakened religious ties to Cypriot nationalism, but it has created very strong sub-state national identities based largely on religion. Specifically, Cyprus can be better classified as sub-national state (Greek and Turkish Cypriots). The presence of a religious frontier has been key throughout the history of Cyprus. Cyprus has been under the control of Ottoman Muslims, Venetian Catholics, British Protestants, and several other groups. Throughout this period, (Greek) Cypriots have relied on their religion and culture in their strivings for enosis with Greece. As stated, the religious frontiers in Cyprus have been threatening for an exceptional amount of time. Under Lusignan and Venetian rule, the Church of Cyprus was pressured to recognize the authority of the Roman pope. The imposed Roman hierarchy attempted to remold the Church of Cyprus in the image of the Western church. Under the Muslim Ottomans, Cypriots were no longer considered schismatic, but merely unbelievers and followers of an inferior religion. As such they were allowed considerable autonomy, and the archbishop was the officially recognized secular as well as religious leader of his community. Under the British, there was an attempt to secularize all public institutions, but this move was bitterly opposed by church authorities, who used the conflict with the state to gag in leadership of the Greek nationalist movement against colonial rule. Each of these "others" has been important in the shaping of Cypriot identity. Today, however, the most significant other (for both sides) comes from the Green line - the divide between the Orthodox Greek Cypriots and the Muslim Turk Cypriots. In 1974, a Greek coup and the Turkish response escalated the threat to a previously unrealized level. The division between the Turkish controlled areas and the Orthodox areas is still present today and is central to Cypriot politics, as well as Turkish and Greek politics. There is little doubt that the main concern of Greek Cypriots is the Turkish presence, and the main concern to Turkish citizens is the threat of Orthodox dominance. As such, both communities rally around their religious identities. Turkish Cypriots did, in fact, declare their independence in 1983,but as of yet international recognition has not come. Both Greek and Turkish Cypriot nationalism are heavily influenced by religion. In fact, Greek Cypriots are sometimes referred to as Orthodox Cypriots - the two terms are interchangeable. Much as was the case in Greece, the Orthodox Cypriots are strongly religious - over 80% consider themselves religious, although fewer than 5% attend church weekly. In addition, when asked about belief in God, only Poland had a higher percentage of positive respondents. Religious festivals are a key part of national culture, and to be a member of the nation one must be a member of the religious group (both Greek and Turkish). When turning to religion's role in politics, the link is once again clear. The first President of independence Cyprus was a former monk. In addition, legislation parallels church beliefs - for instance, abortion is not allowed on demand. The Cypriot case is one of the clearer examples of religious nationalism in Europe. Although the state is divided into two "nations", each clearer demonstrates a pattern of religious frontiers and threats resulting in religious nationalism.
Czech Republic: The Czech Republic, like Austria, has no true modem religious frontier. Poland, Slovakia, and Austria are all primarily Catholic states, and Germany to the west is a divided country. Again, the religious division exists deeper into the German state. This, however, has not always been the case in Czech history. The Czechs were converted to Catholicism in 950 by the Holy Roman Empire. It was not until the Reformation that a true religious frontier emerged in Czech politics. When it did emerge, it did so under the leadership of Jan Hus - a pre-Reformation political reformer. The religious frontier between the Catholic Germans and the newly emerging Hussites was not complete, however. Many of the Czechs remained Catholic, and when the Holy Roman Empire quickly squashed the Hussite movement, the Czechs were reconverted to Catholicism, which they have remained to date. The one true religious frontier (with Germany) can explain much of the secularism of Czech nationalism. During the Reformation era, much of the Czech population converted to Hussitism, but the Holy Roman Empire reacted quickly and powerfully - destroying the movement and exiling all non-Gatholic clergy. The result was a nation that was largely Catholic, but that also associated Catholicism with oppression and foreign menace. The nation was born in the proto-Protestant Hussite movement and persistently in Czech history the baneful influence of Germans and of the Catholic Church were linked together... Hence the success of the Counter-Reformation, though finally assured by the 8attle of White Mountain in 1620, rested uneasily on a base which gave it little support. Since Protestantism was largely eliminated by the Counter-Reformation the national feeling found it difficult to root itself in loyalty to religion whether Catholic or Protestant. Catholicism was disqualified by its associations; Protestantism was largely destroyed. Therefore, when Soviet-influenced communism entered the arena, the Czech nation was already largely secular and the secular aspects of the communist ideology were much lass threatening than in Poland. Therefore, communism did not represent a religious frontier/threat in the Czech case. In the past half century, there have been no true religious frontiers in the Czech Republic; and as a result, there has been no possibility of a threat across a religious frontier. In terms of religious identification, less than 26% of the Czech population consider themselves religious - even lower than in France and amongst the lowest in Europe. In addition, only 8% of the population attends church weekly, and nearly half of the population (45%) doesn't belong to any church, regardless of denomination. This very secular approach to nationalism is also reflected in the political realm. Unlike many other states in Europe, the Czech state guarantees freedom of religion in the Constitution, and "all religious groups officially registered with the Ministry of Culture are eligible to receive subsidies from the State. This is a sharp contrast to Ireland, Poland, or Greece. Essentially, the trauma of the counter-Reformation tore the Czechs from their religious heritage. Because the Protestant church had been forcibly separated from Czech nationalism and the Catholic Church had been associated with a foreign power, secularism became a logical choice for the nation. In the end, this meant that the anti-religious sentiments of the Communist regime were much more easily swallowed in Czechoslovakia than in Poland. In fact, the Slovak people, who had traditionally maintained a closer relationship with the Church, had a more difficult time than did their Czech brethren. When the religious frontier faded (as a result of the Counter-Reformation), the other constitutive elements of nationalism which had previously stood alongside religion filled to void. As a result, Czech nationalism became centered on language, culture, and ethnicity. Meanwhile, religion was subjugated to an awkward position - the Czech people were no longer Protestant, but Protestantism remained a part of their national heritage. This relationship holds true today.
Denmark: Denmark has no current religious frontier. Largely Lutheran itself, the only major border is with Germany, which is itself largely Lutheran (particularly in the northern regions). In addition, the other Scandinavian countries are also predominantly Lutheran. Threat. Due to the fact that Denmark has no religious frontier, it has also lacked exposure to any sort of a threat from a religious frontier. The Danish were Christianized in the 10th and 11 th centuries and were later converted to Lutheranism during the Reformation years. Denmark was a major player in the Thirty Years War, but since then there has been little conflict along religious dimensions. The significant others for Denmark have primarily been the other Scandinavian states and Germany - particularly in the 20th century. Numerous defeats in the 18th and 19th centuries led to an isolationist/neutral stance for the Danish, which has largely been incorporated into their national ideology . However, the lack of religious threats has led to a largely secular nationalism. Religion is somewhat prominent in Denmark. The Lutheran Church is the official state church of Denmark and benefits from state funding. In addition, a large proportion of the population claims membership in the church, although these numbers 'have dropped noticeably in recent years - from around 95% to as low as 84% in 2002. Granted, these numbers are still remarkably high, but attendance is as remarkably low - approximately 3-4% weekly. In addition, the Danish have earned a reputation for tolerance. This was demonstrated by their stance towards the Jewish community in World War II and towards other religious minorities today. Danish nationalism can be classified as a fairly straightforward secular nationalism. Due to the prominence of the Scandinavian and German states as others in Danish history, nationalism has instead focused largely on linguistic and cultural ties.
Estonia: Is primarily Lutheran in religion, does share a rather prominent religious frontier with Orthodox Russia. Estonia was Christianized by the Germanic Teutonic Knights, who introduced Christianity in the 13th century. Interestingly, there has been a threat across the primary religious frontier in Estonian history . Estonia has been more or less under the control of outside powers since the 13th century. Sweden controlled Estonia until the 1700s, at which point Russia conquered the territory. Russia controlled Estonia up to the Bolshevik revolution, when Estonians fought for and won their independence. It was a short-lived independence, however, and Estonia once again fell under Russian control during the Soviet era post-World War II. As a result, Estonia's primary threat has come from Russia, an Orthodox state. The other key threat to the Estonian nation came from the Germanic nobles who ruled over the Estonians throughout the Germanic, Swedish, and Russian eras. It was this factor which truly led to a secular identity for the Estonian people. Only 21% of Estonians claim to be religious and only 5% claim that religion is very important. In addition, although Lutheranism is the historically dominant religion, the level of atheism has risen to a point that Estonia should actually be classified as religiously heterogeneous (Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish minorities). Religious freedom is guaranteed, and the people tend to associate Estonia with cultural or linguistic ties more that with religion. As such, the Estonian case closely parallels to Czech case, wherein religion has been severed from the national story. Lutheranism, the primary religion of the people, is associated with an outside cultural influence - in this case, Germanic. Because of the oppression of the Germanic nobility, Lutheranism was weakened as a national mobilize. Because of the Baltic German domination of the Lutheran Church, the religious factor was muted in Estonian nationalism. Estonians tend not to be very religious, because religion through the nineteenth century was associated with German feudal rule. As a result, religion during the communist era was repressed fairly easily, but there has been an upsurge in activity since the fall of communism. In addition, nation and religion had been separated prior to the introduction of the Russian threat. This meant that other tools were used in modern Estonian nationalism.
Finland: Tradition holds that in the twelfth century, the Finns were converted to Christianity by King Erik IX of Sweden. From that point until the year 1809, Finland remained under the control of the Swedes both politically and religiously. However, the introduction of Christianity (and later Protestantism) meant that a religious frontier did emerge between the Finns and their Orthodox neighbors to the east, the Russians. This frontier has remained constant from the twelfth century until today, although the frontier did become a Christian/Secular frontier during the communist era. Although the frontier has been a more or less constant, the threat from that frontier has varied. Specifically, the Finnish identity was, for many centuries, formed in opposition to the Swedes. As such, linguistic ties served a more important function in national identity, as the Swedes and Finns were both Protestant. However, once Finland fell under the control of the Russian Empire in 1809, the threat from the religious frontier was significantly elevated. Interestingly, the Russians encouraged a linguistic national identity because it was useful in separating the Finns from the Swedes and diminishing the possibility of a return to the Swedish-Finnish union. Whereas the Swedish union had been largely beneficial to the Finns, the Russian situation was more tenuous and, indeed, threatening. By the late 19th century, a policy of Russification was pursued. The Finns, however, earned their independence in 1917, and the Russian threat has still present, but diminished. The two states did go to war several times in the subsequent century, but the Finns were able to maintain a delicate balance that allowed some Russian control in Finnish politics while still preserving national sovereignty. Specifically, the Finns set out to change the nature of Soviet relations after World War II and were largely successful creating a new, more constructive link. Ultimately, the fall of the Soviet Union meant an essential end to the Russian threat. Finnish nationalism is a mixed case of sorts. The vast majority of Finns (nearly 90%) belong to the official Lutheran Church of Finland. In addition, fifty-nine percent consider themselves religious. However, only fifteen percent consider religion to be very important, and even fewer attend church regularly. There is some official linkage between church and state, but the Constitution guarantees religious freedom. Religious instruction is incorporated into the public schools, but students are allowed to opt out. Much of this religious influence was based in Finland's part, however, and did not correspond with attitudes of most Finns, because by the 1980s the country had become a highly secularized society. All in all, religion is a significant part of identity for the Finnish people, but it is largely ceremonial. The role the state churches played in life's key moments made them, for reasons of tradition, important to most Finns, even to those who were not religious. More Finns were baptized, married, and buried with church rites than were members of the churches. A very important rite of passage for adolescents was confirmation, which signified a coming of age even for those from freethinking families. For this reason, more than 90 percent of 15-year-olds were confirmed, despite the several weeks of lessons this entailed. The nationalist views tend to center more on linguistic ties because language proved useful in Finnish differentiation from both the Russians and the Swedes. Religion's importance is present but limited, and it certainly plays a more limited role in politics than in true religious nations. Although a religious frontier has been present in Finland for nearly a millennium, the threat from that frontier has been largely limited. Specifically, in the past fifty years, the Finns have pursued a policy of conciliation with the Russians, and the result has been a tenuous, but peaceful existence - at least since The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance was signed in 1948. The result has been a secular nationalism with hints of religious influence.
France: France has no major modem religious frontiers. Although Germany and Switzerland are divided countries, neither places much emphasis on religion in their national identity. The fad that both are internally dividedweakens the power of religion in the interstate relationship. In other words, a Franco-German conflict would be difficult to frame in religious terms. Throughout history, though, there have been numerous significant religious frontiers for France - with the English (both in modem France and Britain) and with Calvinists (in France and Switzerland). Although there are others, these two provided important centers for building French identity. The Anglo-French conflict dominated much of French history and led to the creation of religious national heroes and heroines (Joan of Are). Particularly after Henry VIII's split with Rome, the French took a special interest in British politics, including attempts to land troops in Ireland on several occasions. Prior to all of this, however, the Huguenots had played an important role in shoring up the Catholic national image of France. Today, the situation has changed drastically. There are no major religious frontiers for France, although the growing Islamic minority in the country has great potential to play an important role in French national identity in the coming years. Religious frontiers played a large part in forming early French nationalism. Both the English and the Huguenots proved threatening and pushed France towards a Catholic self-conception. As a result, until the Revolution of 1789,'Frenchness' was defined so thoroughly in terms of Catholicism that France was considered 'the eldest daughter of the Church'. However, the French Revolution proved to be the most significant turning point in the relationship between religion and nation in France. During the Revolution, the church was so strongly allied with the monarchy that an overthrow of the political order necessitated an overthrow of the social and religious order as well. The French Revolution saw the Church ally itself with the old regime and the social elite against the forces of social reform. For the many who espoused the Revolution, the Church was discredited by its anti-revolutionary stance, and these countries have since the late eighteenth century been largely divided between believers - often the more rural people - and secularists, who often concentrated in the more urbanized and industrialized areas. This meant that the most significant threat to the French nation was the monarchy itself - and the monarchy derived its power from the church. The church, therefore, was not useful in defining the nation. Rather, it had to be done away with for the sake of Frenchness. The French Revolution, unlike the American, had seemed a mortal foe to the faith. At the height of the Jacobin terror, an effort was made to de-christianize the nation. The Christian year was abolished on October 5, 1793; time was no longer measured from the birth of Christ, but from the declaration of the French Republic, so that 1793 became Year One. Sundays and saints' days disappeared; the poet Fabre d'Eglantine, who renamed the months, said proudly that the new calendar no longer commemorated 'some skeletons found in the catacombs of Rome.' Christian festivals and holidays were to be replaced by five days dedicated to virtue, genius, labor, opinion, and rewards. There are other significant points in the relationship between church and nation in France, but none had an impact as severe as the French revolution. The Church itself proved threatening and was severed from the national concept. However, it is important to note that Catholicism has lingered and still plays a large role in French culture and politics, although it is more often than not veiled under the guise of secularism. The French nation has made a concerted effort to separate itself from the Catholic Church. This relationship is revealed in statistics of religiosity: Only 29% of the French population claims to be religious - as opposed to over 80% in Poland and Cyprus, and more than 70% in Ireland. The Fench figure is also markedly lower than the European average of 49%. In addition, a mere 12% of the population claims to attend church weekly; this, too, is below the European average. When asked about their religious principles in a recent poll, 45% of the French respondents claimed that they held no such religious principles. Only 6% of the lrish and less than 9% of the Polish responded similarly. Statistics regarding the clergy are equally drastic: a France in 1948 had almost 43,000 Roman Catholic clergy; by 1987 this had declined to 28,000. Since 1975 there have been fewer than 100 ordinations a year. But perhaps even more telling than the statistics on Church attendance are the following statistics on cultural identification: A poll taken several years ago revealed that for 63 percent of the respondents, French national identity was symbolized by French cuisine; for 62 percent, by human rights; for 42 percent, by the French woman; tor 34 percent, by church steeples; and for 22 percent, by betting on horse races. As opposed to the Polish, lrish and Greek cases, French citizens identify with French women and cuisine at starkly higher rates than religion, which is more comparable to horse racing. Clearly, France is a secular state. When turning to the issue of political religion. it is difficult to find a European state that is more aggressive in its pursuit of secular governance. Separation of Church and State is a mainstay of French society. as is currently being demonstrated by the feud over the rights of Islamic minorities to wear traditional headscarves to French schools - a practice that the government has made clear is unacceptable. The differences between the French approach and that of religious nationalisms is evident.
Germany: Germany is the center of one of the great religious frontiers in European history. It was here that Luther set in motion the Reformation and established an entirely new division between Catholic and Protestant. Significantly, modem Germany spans this religious frontier: the north and east is primarily Protestant while the south and west tend towards Catholicism. Germany is, as a result. a divided nation in terms of religion. This frontier extends beyond the German borders - the southern and eastern neighbors (Austria. Czech Republic, Poland, and France) are largely Catholic and the northern neighbors (Denmark and the Netherlands) are predominantly Protestant. As such. Germany does exist at a religious frontier. The fact that the German nation is bisected by this frontier has limited its uses fro nation-building. The threat that ultimately led to the formation of a unified German state in the 19th century was France. Specifically, the Germans had been defeated by Napoleon and the reaction was to create a stronger Germany in order to prevent this from occurring again. Since the German people were divided by religion, language and descent were emphasized. The Germans have defined themselves ethnocentrically in terms of a community of descent (in theory) , of language (in practice), which is then productive of a state. Religion did playa part during this era specifically through Bismarck's distrust of Catholics and the resulting Kulturkampf - the results of which can still be seen to some extent by the stronger religious identity among Catholics than Protestants (threat leads to religious identity). As a whole, however, religion has been less useful in building German identity than has language and descent. The Holocaust, for instance, was justified based on Jewish race or ethnicity more so than Jewish faith. In terms of current threats to the German state, there are few of significant importance - certainly few that fall along a religious dimension. The one exception that is certainly worth following is the broad distrust of Islamic workers, specifically from Turkey. As is true in France, the increasing significance of Islamic minorities may potentially cause a shift back towards a more religiously-based conception of nationhood. German nationalism has consistently been defined according to heritage and language. Religion, other than in regional identities (Le Bavaria), plays a much more minor role in nationalism. This is due to a number of factors - most significantly the religious frontier which divides the German nation and the lack of any truly serious religious ‘other’. Germany's division between Catholic and Protestant, and its remoteness from the front line with Islam, removed from it the principle religious factors discoverable elsewhere in the construction of a national identity. As a result, Germany is a relatively secular state (only 58% claim to be religious) that appears to be headed in the same direction in the future. Only 14% of the German people claim that religion is "very important and the number of unaffiliated persons is on the climb.
Hungary: Is a divided though prominently Catholic country. Approximately two-thirds of the Hungarian people are at least nominally Catholic. As a result, Hungary does exist at a number of religious frontiers - specifically with Orthodox Serbia, Romania, and Ukraine. Historically, the Hungarian nation has been apart of several other frontiers of even greater significance. For much of its history, Hungary was subject to either Ottoman or Austrian dominance, and the twentieth century introduced the Soviet "frontier" as well. The Austrian frontier was significant because, at the time, Hungary had sli Albania:Like its Balkan neighbors, has existed at a religious frontier between Catholicism and Orthodoxy for hundreds of years. Unlike its neighbors, however, Albania was largely converted to Islam during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Interestingly, these conversions did not happen on a large scale until the Russe- Turkish wars, wherein the Ottomans were threatened by the Orthodox links between the Russians and Albanians. The conversion, however, was largely successful. Today nearly seventy percent of the Albanian people are Muslim. Significantly though, the religious frontier divides the Albanian people - not only between the Muslim majority and the Catholic and Orthodox minority, but also between diverging sects of Islam (Sunni vs. Bektashi). As such, religion proved less useful than other tools for uniting the Albanians in their various national movements throughout history. Threat" Because the Ottoman Empire was also Islamic, the Albanian people were largely content to remain subject to its rule (as was true of many Orthodox Greeks). The ultimate rise of Albanian nationalism came as the Ottoman Empire crumbled and the threat of integration into the neighboring states increased. Although this threat did occur across a religious frontier, the religious fragmentation of Albania meant that a more ethnic approach was adopted. The Albanians' religious differences forced nationalist leaders to give the national movement a purely secular character that alienated religious leaders. The most significant factor uniting the Albanians, their spoken language, lacked a standard literary form and even a standard alphabet. Each of the three available choices, the Latin, Cyrillic, and Arabic scripts, implied different political and religious orientations opposed by one or another element of the population. The subsequent adoption of communism in Albania brought with it extensive attacks on religion, which ultimately had a mixed effect. Although some Albanians were reluctant to pass their religion on their children, others responded by identifying more strongly with their traditional religious ties. Religious Nationalism: Nationalism in Albania is largely secular. A great deal of this secularism can be attributed to the communist attacks on organized religion under Hoxha trom the 19405 onward. More significant are the religious divides within the Albanian nation - most notably the schism within Islam itself. This meant that religion was not the most useful tool for nation-building, and ethnic ties were used instead. The result is a state which features a strange separation of church and state - there is no official religion, no religious symbols are allowed in school, and the link between the people and their various religions is still tenuous after the communist era. Official state holidays are drawn from all tour predominant religions. There are few statistics of church attendance because of restrictions on religion that have only recently been lifted, but the secular attitude of the people is largely accepted. This disjoint between church and people has also meant that religion has had little influence in the actual political sphere in recent years, certainly when compared to any of the three cases discussed in P.1.
As a whole, following chart shows that thirty-two of the thirty-nine cases (82%) examined in p.3a/b, fit the broader pattern of religious-based national identity. In those thirty-two cases, religious frontiers and treats (or their absence) played a key role in determining the religious or secular nature of nationalism. Only seven of the thirty nine cases proved to be outliers. A brief look at these seven cases shows that each had particular reasons for deviating from the general path. Of these outliers, Albania, Latvia, and the Ukraine are internally divided in terms of religion (Le. the religious frontier runs through the nation), thereby weakening the nation-building power of religion. Estonia and Latvia both feature a religion that is associated with Foreign oppression (Germany) and therefore is separated from the national heritage, again weakening its nation-building abilities. Italy is an exceptional case in that religion is virtually impossible to separate from national heritage. There is little doubt that the Catholic Church is an Italian institution, and despite the fact that Catholicism has stood in the way of national consolidation, the Catholic heritage of Italy cannot be easily dismissed. And the two Iberian cases, Spain and Portugal, both demonstrate the power of religiously-based dictatorships. In both cases, national identity began forming in a time of religious war. In both cases, an authoritarian government maintained strong ties between church and state, and in both cases there has been a noticeable shift towards the secular since the 1970s. It is likely that each will continue to secularize in the coming years and will soon fit the broader pattern of religious nationalism in Europe. These outliers should not be minimized. They are significant and must be explained if the broader theory is to hold. However, each can be explained based on its own unique circumstances. It is clear that, as a whole, religious frontiers have an indubitable role in the formation of religiously-minded nationalisms.
More on this in Part 3B.