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Balkan IdolsReligion and Nationalism in Yugoslav States$
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Vjekoslav Perica

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195148568.001.0001

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The Second Strife

The Second Strife

Religion as the Catalyst of the Crisis in the 1980S and 1990S

(p.133) 9 The Second Strife
Balkan Idols

Vjekoslav Perica

Oxford University Press

After Tito's death, ethnic nationalism was simmering in all parts of Yugoslavia from Slovenia in the northwest to Kosovo in the southeast. The secular politics of the regime's establishment involved factional quarrels, and the activities of secular intellectual elites have been analyzed at length elsewhere. The religious scene, where important things occurred, has remained obscure, yet visible religious symbols and movements were no less telling harbingers of what was to happen in the 1990s; these are the subject of this chapter. The different sections cover: the clerical offensive and the communist regime's last stand (1979–87); the promise of peaceful transition (moderate religious policies and the belated democratization of the regime, 1988–90); ethnoreligious realignment and multiparty elections; worsening relations between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and the schisms between nation‐states in the Serbian Orthodox Church; the Churches and the official history of the genocide of Serbs by Croats in World War II; the establishment of a site of Serb martyrdom at Jasenovac in Croatia (completed in 1983) to commemorate the genocide of 1941, and the myths surrounding this; disputes over holy places; the collapse of interfaith dialog; untimely Serbian commemorations of World War II sufferings in 1990–1; and calls for partition and revenge by the Serbs.

Keywords:   Catholic Church, communism, Croatia, democratization, ethnic nationalism, genocide, Kosovo, nationalism, partition, revenge, Serbian Orthodox Church, Slovenia, World War II, Yugoslavia

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