One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An excessive emphasis on the principle of nationalism in the organization of church affairs; a policy which attaches greater importance to ethnic identity than to bonds of faith and worship; (originally) specifically the claim of the Bulgarian Church to jurisdiction over Bulgarian nationals in all parts of the world.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Catholic World. From modern Greek ϕυλετισμός from ancient Greek ϕυλέτης member of a tribe + -ισμός.
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