When Samuel Huntington, the American political scientist, predicted a global ‘clash of civilizations’, one of his more contentious ideas concerned eastern Christianity. He thought historically Orthodox countries would form a distinct geopolitical bloc, wedged between the western Christendom and Islam.

Back in 1993, the professor’s prediction seemed plausible because of conflict in the Balkans. The nationalist dreams of Serbia were winning atavistic support, at least of the moral kind, from co-religionists in Russia, Greece and Cyprus.

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