The Role of Religion in the Rise and Decline of Authoritarian Governments in Eastern Europe: Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine

By: Kathryn Murphy

April 19, 2021

Virtual Spring 2021 REWA Student Symposium

This paper explores how the leaders of three prominent Eastern European countries—Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine—have employed religion as a means of propagating their parties’ platforms and amassing popular support. It concludes that Hungary’s and Poland’s governments have engaged in ecclesiastical fear-mongering to increase their authoritarian power. Meanwhile, Ukraine has progressed in liberalization and has used religion as a uniting force.


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