Religion in Greece


Religion in Greece

The Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the religion of 95%cite web |url=http://www.greekhelsinki.gr/bhr/english/organizations/ghm_mrgg_religious_freedom_2002.rtf |title=Religious Freedom in Greece (September2002) |accessdate=2007-09-15 |format=RTF |work=Greek Helsinki Monitor Minority Rights Group - Greece] -98%cite web |url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gr.html#People |title=Greece |accessdate=2007-09-15 |format=HTML |work=The World Factbook] of the Greek population and is accorded the status of "prevailing religion" in the constitution.

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005,cite web |url=http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf |title=Eurobarometer on Social Values, Science and technology 2005 - page 11 |accessdate=2007-05-05]

* 81% of Greek citizens responded that "they believe there is a God".
* 16% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
* 3% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".

The prevailing nature of the Orthodox Christian church in Greece is attributed largely on the role the church played for the preservation of the Greek nation through the years of the Ottoman Empire but also for the role the church played in the Greek War of Independence (e.g. through the actions of people such as Germanos). As a result, many attribute to the modern Greek nation an ethnoreligious identity, though granted not as strong as it exists say, in the Jewish nation. The nation's identity is further distanced from its Church because of its Ancient history.

Greek Orthodoxy

The Greek Orthodox Church, a member of the Eastern Orthodox Communion, is accorded the status of "prevailing religion" in Greece's constitution. Its members comprise between 95%cite web|url=http://www.greekhelsinki.gr/bhr/english/organizations/ghm_mrgg_religious_freedom_2002.rtf |title=Religious Freedom in Greece (September2002) |accessdate=2007-09-15 |format=RTF |work=Greek Helsinki Monitor Minority Rights Group - Greece] and 98%cite web |url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gr.html#People |title=Greece |accessdate=2007-09-15 |format=HTML |work=The World Factbook] of the population. Of those who identify themselves as Greek Orthodox, about 700,000 to 1 million are Greek Old Calendarists.

Catholicism

Roman Catholicism

Indigenous Catholic Greeks number approximately 50,000 and are found all over Greece, the majority however live in the Cyclades and the Ionian Islands. The presence of Catholics in the Greek islands is a heritage from the time of the Venetian domination, during the Middle Ages. The Roman Catholic community has increased in size in recent years due to immigration and today number over 200,000.

Greek Catholicism

Catholic Greeks of the Byzantine Rite (Uniates) number approximately 5,000 and mostly live in Athens.

Islam

Indigenous Muslims in Greece are mostly of Albanian and Turkish origins though a community of Greek Muslims exists as well. The number of followers of Islam is estimated to be at 97,604 people or 0.95% of the total population, according to the 1991 census. [ [http://www.hri.org/MFA/foreign/musmingr.htm Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, Υπηρεσία Ενημέρωσης: Μουσουλμάνικη μειονότητα Θράκης] and [http://www.hri.org/MFA/foreign/musmingr.htm Ελληνική Επιτροπή για τη διαχείρηση των υδατικών πόρων: Στοιχεία από την πρόσφατη απογραφή του πληθυσμού] ] Immigrant Muslims are estimated between 200,000 and 300,000.cite web |url=http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2006/71383.htm |title=International Religious Freedom Report 2006: Greece |publisher=www.state.gov |work=US Dept. of State/Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor |date=2006-09-15 |accessdate=2007-09-15]

Judaism

The Jewish community in Greece currently amounts to roughly 5,500 people, concentrated mainly in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Volos, Chalkis, Ioannina, Trikala and Corfu, while very few remain in Kavala and Rhodes. [http://www.kis.gr/chr_olokautoma_english.pdf Short History Of The Jewish Communities In Greece] (pdf), publicized by the [http://www.kis.gr/home_en.html Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece] ]

Hellenic Neopaganism

About 2,000 people are members of Hellenic Neopaganism (Dodekatheic) congregations. [ [http://www.newstatesman.com/200703200001 Newstatesman - The ancient gods of Greece are not extinct] ] [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/05/08/wgods08.xml Telegraph.co.uk - Modern Athenians fight for the right to worship the ancient Greek gods] ] [The US government gives a generic number of 2000. [http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2006/71383.htm United States Department of State - International Religious Freedom Report 2006] ] However, the leaders of the movement put the number much higher: from 100,000 or 200,000 (1%, 2% of the total) [ [http://www.newstatesman.com/200703200001 Newstatesman - The ancient gods of Greece are not extinct] ] [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/05/08/wgods08.xml Telegraph.co.uk - Modern Athenians fight for the right to worship the ancient Greek gods] ] to 400,000 (4%) [ [http://www.euronews.net/index.php?page=info&article=412443&lng=4 Euro News - in Italian] ] Recently, Neopagans have been subject of discrimination issues.

Other faiths

Other faiths in Greece include Jehovah's Witnesses, various Protestant and Pentecostal churches (the Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost is very active), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Scientologists, Bahá'ís, Hare Krishnas.

ee also

*Greek Evangelical Church
*Religion by country

References

Notes

*US Department of State [http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78815.htm Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2006: Greece]
*Tomkinson, John L., [http://www.anagnosis.gr/index.php?pageID=73&la=eng Between Heaven and Earth: The Greek Church] , Anagnosis (Athens, 2004) ISBN 960-87186-5-1


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