The causes of the war and the role of religion and the churches in former Yugoslavia are discussed. History is often mentioned as an explanation for the war. However, not history itself but the current interpretation of historical events has caused great division between the peoples of former Yugoslavia: for example, the different opinions about the Battle of Kosovo Polje and about the Archbishop Stepinac. The churches have not been able to enter into a real dialogue and to prevent the exploitation of history.
Protestant and Catholic sources tell different stories about four Nez Perce emissaries from beyond the Rocky Mountains who arrived in St. Louis in the fall of 1831. Although their respective historical accounts reveal little about why native peoples would find it advantageous to send a delegation to an American frontier town asking for help, they reveal much about the contrasts between these rival groups of American Christians in the nineteenth century as well as their common objectives in Christianizing the American west. A third version of Christian missionaries arriving in the intermountain west from an indigenous oral tradition offers a different interpretation of Christianity’s consequences for the native peoples of the region.