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Lithuania, one of the Baltic states of northern Europe, has a religious life today marked by both a revival of traditional religious practices and increased secularization. At one time the last pagan country of Europe, Lithuania became an important center for Catholic and Jewish life in the region. Religiously motivated resistance to 20th-century Nazi and Soviet occupations helped galvanize Lithuanian national identity, even while that same foreign rule had devastating effects on Lithuania's religious life. The recent movement from Soviet rule to independence, and finally to incorporation into the European Union, has allowed Lithuanians to worship freely and at the same time has facilitated the marginalization of religion.

Religion has long played a significant role in Lithuanian cultural and national identity. The paganism of Lithuanians ...

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