To: Gengis Khan
What that article obviously fails to mention is that getting this recognition as a "cultural association", which basically only means its part of Greek culture, and no one has ever denied that ancient Greek religion was not part of the Greek culture, differs from it being an official religion recognized by the state. Notice that statement makes absolute no mention that it gained legal recognition as a OFFICIAL religion in Greece. Big difference. The article is also wrong in stating that its only "non-Christian" religions not recognized by the sate but I will talk more about that below, it failed to mention that aside from Orthodox Christianity, the only other two religions that are officially recognized by the state are the faiths of Islam and Judaism. Which makes you, Gengis Khan, somewhat correct in you analysis regarding Hindu or any other religion for that matter but that does not mean you can't practice Hinduism or Buddhism or Confucianism or Jehovah Witnesses(I have an uncle who is a JW converted when he married his wife, aunt by marriage) or worshipping snakes in a cave if you want as long as you get the proper license by the state. So yes the freedom in practicing whatever religion you want is there BUT they can't have a "House of Prayers" without permits from the state. What this means is that Orthodox Christianity, Judaism and Islam are the only officially recognized by the state as faiths considered to be "legal persons of public law." Other religions are considered "legal persons of private law." which means in practice, the primary distinction is that the Civil Code's provisions pertaining to corporations regulate the establishment of "houses of prayer" for every non state recognized religions. Oh and you are wrong in believing that its only non-Christian religions that are not recognized by the Greek state, religions like Evangelists and Mormons and basically every other Christian religion that is not Orthodox Christianity are not recognized by the state either and fall under the "legal persons of private law" but that does not mean they can't be practiced freely with the proper permits...except for Scientology, called a "psycho-sect" by the Greek state that not only is it NOT recognized by the Greek sate but it is also prohibited from practicing in Greece based on legal criminal actions. As Kolokotronis stated kookie "cults" who try to associate themselves with ancient Greek religion have been popping up forever now, including quite a few who are not even native Greeks but claim "association" thru ancient Greek religion, this is nothing new and nothing amazing, just the same 'ol again. In a country where 89% of the people are Orthodox Christian and were this religion plays a big part on every Greek person's life, I have to disagree with Mrs. Don-o view that "this indicates the spiritual vacuum afflicting Greece", quite the opposite is actually true for those of us familiar with the country, the culture, history and her people. I don't know about other countries, except for the States since I've gone to school here where church and state are separated therefore religion is not allowed into public schools, but religion, that is Greek Orthodox religion ofcourse, is mandatory in their educational system and you can't learn about the Greek revolution or the Byzantine Empire without learning about the influence Greek Orthodoxy played in the creation of the modern state or about its influence from Byzantine times thru which it claims a continuation through the Eastern Roman(Byzantine) Empire to ancient Greece. In other words Greek Orthodoxy is intertwined very tightly with Greek history and identity unlike any other European countries that I know of at least, with maybe the exception of Italy. Also lets not forget that quite a bit of ancient Greek thought and philosophy had entered into Christianity and many of those ancient Greek customs and symbolic meanings are still practiced today by modern Greeks, even though the names might have changed, such as in ancient times panspermia (also known as polysporia) were offered to the Demeter and Dionysus for fertility and in honor of the dead, in modern times those ancient symbolic meanings for panspermia/polysporia have been taken on by Jesus Chris and the Virgin Mary. ;-)
posted on 02/07/2007 6:39:24 PM PST
So they need to get "permits" from the State to practice their faith? Wont really call that "freedom".
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