Secularism is a tricky term with different definitions and interpretations. A general assumption is that those societies which modernise as a result of growing industrialisation and urbanisation become secular in the sense that religious thinking, practice and institutions begin to lose social significance. The twentieth century, particularly its later half, saw rapid modernisation but did secularism actually grow with growing modernisation? Conversely, has there been a corresponding disinclination to religion in the world during this period? To investigate this struggle between religion and secularism Mark Juergensmeyer trotted the globe for two decades to record first-hand observations. In addition, to being a Professor of Sociology and Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he is the President of the American Academy of Religion and a co-editor of the Encyclopaedia of Global Religion. His findings are revealing in many ways. Lets first take the example of the area-wise biggest country of the world, the erstwhile Soviet Union that remained under the communist rule for almost seven decades. After its break-up, the traditionally Muslim dominated regions of Central Asia witnessed a significant religious revival which could be understood from the fact that on the average about 10 new mosques opened everyday in 1991. There was a glut of Islamic parties in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan demanding the establishment of theocratic states run by the clergy. Those Muslims who were previously communist and lectured on atheism began to wear turbans and started propagating Islam. By 2001, Hizb-ut-Tahrir had emerged as the largest jihadi organisation in this region. Due to the failure of Marxism, people began to turn towards religion as an alternative ideology in Mongolia and Ukraine as well. Another example of religious resurgence was Latvia where the statue of Lenin was smashed to pieces and in its place was installed a statue of Jesus Christ. The second case can be of India that claims to be the largest secular democracy in the world. At the time of its creation in 1947, its first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru proclaimed that India would be secular and exhorted his countrymen to lessen their religious leanings by turning to science. He thought that there was no point in going back to a past which was full of religious identities and hoped that the modern secular spirit of the age would inevitably triumph throughout the globe. Nehrus soul would have been deeply hurt because his biggest secular democracy eventually bred the largest religio-political movement of the world in the form of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that ruled the country from 1998 to 2004. Nehrus aversion to religious propensities notwithstanding, religion and politics are intertwined in the classical Hindu thought. Kautilya, a fourth century B.C.E political theorist enunciated in Arthasastra - a classical Hindu text - that it was the responsibility of the head of state to maintain power and uphold religion. That is why Hindutva, which plainly means Hindu religious ascendancy, remains a sacred creed for the Hindu nationalists. The third case in point is the United States of America where the 1980s and the '90s witnessed quite a bit of religious activism among the rightist Christian organisations such as the Dominion Theology, the Christian Identity and the relatively obscure theological movement Reconstruction Theology. The activists of these organisations believe that Christianity must assert the dominion of God over all creation including secular politics and society. Randall Terry, a writer for the Dominion magazine Crosswinds wrote that America should function as a Christian nation and opposed such practices of its secular society as abortion on demand, fornication, homosexuality, sexual entertainment and state usurpation of parental rights. In a similar vein, the exponents of Dominion Theology desire the establishment of a Christian theocratic state. Similarly, followers of Reconstruction Theology wish to reconstruct a true Christian society by turning to the Bible as the fountainhead for the nations law and social order. According to Gary North, a prolific writer of this movement, it is the moral obligation of Christians to recapture every institution for Jesus Christ. The situation is not much different in Israel. The leaders of the Jewish religious right also think that their secular government is illegitimate. Rabbi Meir Kahane, the spokesman of the radical Kach Party, felt ideologically closer to Imam Khomeini of Iran than the secular Jews because he thought that Khom-einis teachings rightly emphasised on the importance of religion in shaping a nations morality and communal identity. The adherents of another Jewish organisation Agudat Israel believe that there would be no true state of Israel until the Temple was rebuilt and a new David was installed as the king. The chances of peace between the Jews and the Palestinians remain bleak because of the Jewish radicals who ardently demand the restoration of the biblical lands, the revival of the traditional Jewish law and the rebuilding of the Temple on Temple Mount in Jerusalem. From the biblical viewpoint, the true Israel must extend over the West Bank of the Jordan River, as well as the hills around Jerusalem. Hence, the ongoing expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Israeli settlements there. Incidentally, the very place where the Jews wish to construct their temple is the place that houses the Dome of the Rock. It is very sacred for the Muslims because Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is believed to have ascended into heaven from there. No wonder, extremist Jews have made several attempts to destroy this holy Muslim site and Yoel Lerner, a colleague of Meir Kahane, was actually imprisoned for his involvement in a plot to blow up the Dome of the Rock. These radical Jews feel that the secular governments of Israel can never establish the true State of Israel because secularism lacks God and idealism. To them, man cant live by bread alone, religion is more than just belief and ritual, it is all of life. The attitude of Muslims is no different towards secularists, especially post-9/11 when many have felt that Islam is under attack from the 'secular West led by the US as well as their own rulers. The presence of American forces in the Muslim lands is perceived as a direct threat to Islam. In the conflict with Israel, Hamas enjoys an upper hand over the 'secular PLO. It expressed its vision in a 40 page covenant envisioning an Islamic Palestine. This covenant implied that the only moral course for the Palestinians was to reject the secular ideology and compromising strategy of PLO and to wage jihad against Israel. Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, who started 'Intifada, the popular uprising against the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, unambiguously advocated that sharia should be the sole basis for Islamic politics because in his view there is no such thing as a secular state in Islam. It seems as if the so-called secular governments have not been able to satisfy the vital interests of the different competing sections of the society, generating in turn, a wave of religious reassertion in several parts of the world. Email: