The Roman empire wasn't secular, and the Old Egyptian Empire wasn't eighter, The same with the ottoman Empire and the islamic khalifate. Their succes was their religion in what they believed, it was the driving force for their succes. Look at secular empires, all easyly destroyed, like USSR, Germany in WW2, Napoleons very short Empire. Even USA is religious. China is changing too, because secular communism wasn't good for economy. They understood it too.
Russian defense ministry: Plane sent to intercept U.S. plane near border on Friday (Reuters)
from the article: After snubbing Israel, Turkey to hold defense drills with Syria