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Author Topic: Greeks are EU’s ‘most religiousâ€â  (Read 1152 times) Average Rating: 0
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TomS
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« on: November 16, 2005, 09:46:55 AM »

Greeks are EU’s ‘most religious’

Greeks are the most religious people in Europe and the eighth most devout in the world, according to the results of a worldwide survey conducted across 68 countries over the summer and made public yesterday.

An overwhelming 86 percent of Greeks claim to be religious, according to the poll, which was conducted upon a sample of 53,749 respondents by TNS ICAP in association with Gallup International Association. The most devout people in the world are Ghanaians, 91 percent of whom claimed to be religious. The least religious were in Hong Kong and Japan, where only 14 percent and 17 percent respectively claimed to be religious.

The poll defined “religious” as believing in a faith rather than attending church regularly. “Religion may not play a decisive role in daily life but religious faith is, to a large extent, a matter of tradition,” Panayiotis Pachis, a professor of theology at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, told Kathimerini yesterday. For example, the overwhelming majority of Greeks attend church during Orthodox Easter, he said.
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2005, 12:01:18 PM »

I'm glad you added the part defining "religious" in the context of the poll.  I have a feeling that Church attendance varies much over Greece at the moment; the impression I got from people who have gone to Thessaloniki is that many people still go to Church (just not as many as before), while from my limited experience of Athens I can say that the opposite is true (most do not go).

I am glad, though, to see that people still identify with the faith, even if not with the insitutional church.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure how many of them (like us) actually apply that faith to their daily lives; I think Greece's state of having the highest abortion rate in Europe (I don't have the figures) speaks volumes.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2005, 01:33:17 PM »

omg, abortion is legal in Greece? wth is going on? I am not proud to call Greece a traditional Orthodox country anymore.
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Ntinos
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2005, 02:59:37 PM »

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I am not proud to call Greece a traditional Orthodox country anymore.

Yes, and you will be saddened to hear that there are also voices that demand Church-State separation, being heard very loudly the last years.

As a Greek living in Greece, let me explain what the state is.
First of all, according to State polls, 98% of the citizens are Orthodox Christians. Or at least this is what they decide to declare themselves officially. The situation is much worse than one would imagine: 98% of people declare themselves Orthodox Christians because of their ties to tradition (not Church tradition, but rather national tradition), but every little Orthodox Christian is a bit of a heretic of his own type: some never Commune, most almost never Confess (me included, unfortunately), and everyone apart from the elders go to Church only three or two times a year: at Christmas, at the Resurrection, and at the Crucifixion.
In reality, we're all being swallowed into deep atheism, without even understanding it. In 30-40 years, if the situation continues like that, the Church will have to fall into deep trouble.

Orthodoxy really means anything only to elders, while younger Greeks prefer to call Orthodox tradition a thing of the past, or view religion in terms of the greek culture of the last centuries (since our monasteries have tons of artwork).
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2005, 04:41:29 PM »

Yes, and you will be saddened to hear that there are also voices that demand Church-State separation, being heard very loudly the last years. 

I don't know if I'm off-base, but I see this as an extension of the "Europinization" of Greece that has been a slow process since 1821.  The heavy influence of Western Europe on the very different Greek people has changed the culture; at first slowly, with the seeds of European nationalism and such, but over time the influence of western  social and political philosophy has changed the landscape of Greece tremendously.
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2005, 06:00:05 PM »

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I don't know if I'm off-base, but I see this as an extension of the "Europinization" of Greece that has been a slow process since 1821.  The heavy influence of Western Europe on the very different Greek people has changed the culture; at first slowly, with the seeds of European nationalism and such, but over time the influence of western  social and political philosophy has changed the landscape of Greece tremendously.

Well, you're right in a way.
But not exactly.
The "europinization" of the country started a long time ago, with Kostas Simitis of the SocialDemocrat party, who also had a similar issue with the Archdiocese over the new CVs, that would not include the religious denomination of the person on them.
Well, that ended in a triumph of the Socialdemocrats. He had the chance to raise the issue then, as well.

Right now, the issue is being raised because the Metropolitans talk too much. Just a few days ago, the former prime Minister, Kostas Simitis (the above), wrote a book about himself, that caused a lot of controversy, and along with it, the response of a metropolitan (the metropolitan of Mesogaia & Kalavrita) and the Archdiocese backing him up.
Ever since, the socialists are practically screaming for a Church-State separation, and the issue is evolving.

Yesterday, I was watching on TV a discussion in which people from various political parties, and representatives of the Church (a priest, a theologian & the metropolitan of Thessaloniki) took part. The idea I got was that those demanding Church-State separation were mostly demanding it, in order to silence the metropolitans, and this is also what the metropolitan pointed out, that this "demand" is targeted at the archdiocese, although he intentionally didn't mention by whom.
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2005, 06:38:51 PM »

Rather than blaming Western Europe, which seems to be a popular theme among soem Orthodox people - we should see our own failings first.  A lot of why secularist ideas made such inroads in Orthodox lands is because of how the Church failed to handle them.   
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2005, 07:19:37 PM »

A lot of why secularist ideas made such inroads in Orthodox lands is because of how the Church failed to handle them.     

And a lot of why they were able to make any inroads is because those roads were paved when the church was weaker...

I'm not saying that the Church should be absolved of any responsibility, nor am I saying it is just the institutional church... but we do have to recognize that western european powers have been looking to spread their ideals and influence in eastern europe since the rise of Charlemagne's empire.  The current situation in the Balkans is a testament to that.
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2005, 07:42:12 PM »

....enough to make you wanna...."kill-a-man"---Zack de la Rocha
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