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Both the German Democratic Republic and the Commonwealth of Australia have had a curious fixation on the nation building process. In order to convince both their own citizens, but also other nations, both the GDR and Australia had to rely on preexisting symbols and narratives which on first glance seem surprising. However, what is most curious is that both nations used sport and religion in similar ways to build the nation. While this paper concentrates on religion, it is sport which provides the framework in considering the usefulness of religion to the nation building process. This link between sport and religion, and the nation is a familiar story to many diasporic Irish Catholic families, particularly in the nations formed out of the British colonization process. I remember an old Irish Catholic priest in my suburban Australian childhood, Fr Greg Butler, exploring many times during sermons how faith and sport were interlocking metaphors, out of which grew a certain kind of unity between peoples. To me the idea of the nation was intimately linked to sport, and there was a special resonance whenever 'one of us' was doing well.