In this article, the authors look into the theological background of the support that nationstates in the Western Balkans received during their formation at the end of the 20th century. Although many articles were written on the causes of the wars for national independence, and on the relationship between religious narratives and ethnic exclusion, very few were written on the theological support of the ethnic exclusion. The authors show that the roots of making ethnos and affiliation with certain nations in Eastern Europe can be found in the writings of late Pope John Paul II and Serbian Orthodox Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović. By analyzing their writings in which they turned ethnic and national affiliation into a religious value, the authors shed new light on the rise of nationalism in Eastern Europe, which is tightly connected to theological discourse.



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