Policies reflect societal realities as well as political ideas and ideologies. The first half of the 20th century was characterized in Europe by the consolidation of nation-building processes, and cultural policy instruments were used to strengthen national feelings and enhance national esteem. In the second half of the century, especially in the 1960s and thereafter, cultural policy increasingly became a tool to enhance welfare and well-being. Nordic countries have traditionally had a reputation of being nation-states, that is, societies where the national community and the political unit, the state, are congruent. All major world religions with their belief systems and ceremonies are present in Nordic spiritual life. A vast number of cultural traditions are reproduced in smaller and larger circles. The Multiculturalism Policy Index (MCP) developed at Queens University in Canada is helpful in comparing the Nordic countries with regard to the cultural rights of national minorities, indigenous people and immigrant groups.