When religious institutions engage the secular emotively and publicly, they can foster an affective atmosphere of religiosity, which potentially has motivational power, even for non-believers, because it shapes the sensorium of those who circulate in public space. When individuals appeal to “places animated with prayer” for the transformative energy that resides there through ritualized practices, they reaffirm an affective atmosphere of religiosity. In Orthodox Eastern Europe and elsewhere, a confessional tradition is allied with state borders, further normativizing this affective atmosphere and giving it pronounced political implications. When an affective atmosphere of religiosity inspires practices that are intentionally designed to prompt experiences rendered meaningful in otherworldly terms, over time such performativity can create mimetic instincts that become second nature. This is an essential step to religion becoming an expedient political resource and to the emergence of religious nationalism or a confessional state.