|This article attempts to explain the paradox of the comparatively good position of the churches in Socialist Yugoslavia and their explicit anti-state position. The author analyses the evolution of state policies towards Orthodox and Catholic churches and underlines the differences between the 1960s and the 1980s in this respect. Buchenau especially focuses on the issue of religious freedom, by emphasizing the contradiction between increasingly liberal attitude towards clergy on the one hand, and everyday discrimination against the believers, on the other, which he claims to be one of the reasons for the eventual failure of the state to win the support of religious institutions. It also fuelled, according to the author, “religious nationalism, because the churches understood secularism not only as religious, but also as a national problem” (560).
This article largely draws upon a very detailed monograph by Buchenau, published in 2004 (see the above annotation) and basically summarizes one of the arguments presented in the monograph.