The religion in Greece

Upravené: sobota, 22. október 2011

Greece Religion: The Greek population is composed of a 97% of Christian Orthodox.The rest of the population is Muslim, Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish.Greece and Russia are the only countries to have such a great proportion of people that belong to the Orthodox Church.

The Orthodox Church forms the third largest branch of Christianity after the Roman Catholics and the Protestants.

The  founders

According to the history of Orthodoxy, the first who came in the Greek World to preach Christianity was St Paulin 49 AD. But, the real founder of Orthodoxy was the Emperor Constantine the Great. According to history, Constantine was converted to Christianity in the 4th century after a vision of the cross.

Difference with other religions

By the 8th century, the Pope of Rome and the patriarch of Constantinople  started to argue on many points. Some of the many differences of opinion opposing the spiritual leaders are: the celibacy of the clergy (priests in Romehad to be celibate where as the orthodox priests could marry before becoming ordained), some differences in the way of fasting or over the wording of theCreed: for the Orthodox the Holy Spirit proceeds “from the Father” where as Rome added “and the Son”.

The Schism

The many disputes and opposition between the spiritual chiefs of the Orthodoxy and Catholicism became more and more intense and, in 1054, the Patriarch and the Pope excommunicated one another.

The Orthodox Church (Eastern, Greek/Russian) and the Roman Catholic Church took their own way: this separation is called the schism. Today, Orthodoxy is the national religion of Greece  with 97% of the population. Etymologically, Orthodox means "right belief".


Orthodoxism : Sentiment more than an institution

Orthodoxy is less an institution than a sentiment and that sentiment is not only expressed by  the population but also by the public powers. For example, even if the Greek constitution guarantees freedom of the faith, a racial discrimination was applied over the minorities.
Greece and Orthodoxy are closely connected due to the country’s historical past.During the Ottoman rule, from 1453 to 1821, the Orthodox religion and its priests were an important element for the conservation and the definition of the Greek Nationality. During the several occupations, the Orthodox Church made a great effort to preserve the Greek language, culture and traditions and, of course, the Orthodox faith. They managed to preserve the religious conscience and the feeling of affiliation into a unit. Greece was, until 2001, the only country of the European Union which mentioned on the Identitiy Cards the civilian’s religious affiliation. Furthermore, the professional access to the Public Services was, until recently only allowed to members of the Orthodox Church.

Officially and like in all European countries, the Greek State and the Orthodox Church are separated. This separation is not written or regulated by the Constitution and the Greek Orthodox Church has a great powerin Greek society.


Ortodoxismand Greek society

Religion is present in many different sections of the Greek society. For example, the Orthodox Church is very present in the education sector and children have obligatory religious courses and pray all together every morning before starting the classes in allt he schools, private or public. Greek Orthodox clergy are state employees and the Orthodox Church is much integrated into the political matters of the country.  Every time a new decision is made that doesn’t suit with the Orthodox principals, it is always followed by great disapprovals from Church representatives.


Even though Greece is in the process of Europeanization and Globalization, it still remains a profoundly religious Christian Orthodoxcountry, full of  beliefs, traditions, customs and religious feasts