THE ROLE OF POLITICAL PARTIES AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN INCITING RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM IN THE BALKANS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

Duška MATEVSKA

Abstract


Even though religious organizations do not fall into political institutions, yet throughout history, religion has quite frequently served as a cover behind which certain political interests have been concealed. The increased connection among religion, religious communities and politics has been especially typical of the regions of former Yugoslavia after the fall of socialism, when religion and the culture it affects became the main feature of the collective and the personal identity. In this context, on the territory of the Balkans, religiously oriented political parties began to emerge, and they evidently fall into two types. This paper will attempt to answer the following questions: To what extent do the statements and activities of the political parties and the religious leaders contain elements of religious ideology? In what way does this practice affect the stimulation of religious fundamentalism, i.e. the rejection of all forms of contemporaneity and secularism; and ultimately, to what extent does this practice affect the adherents of Christianity and Islam in regard to their attitude (tolerance / intolerance) towards members of other religious groups and their worldviews.

Keywords: Political parties, religious leaders, religious tolerance, religious intolerance, religious fundamentalism


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