ATHENS – With churches often closed during lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, religious organizations and the Church of Greece will be eligible for state aid, suffering losses in being unable to collect regular donations.
Legislation has been submitted to Parliament by the Education Ministry as an amendment to a Health Ministry bill which allows the state to pay a one-off extraordinary grant to the Church of Greece, the Church of Crete, the Dodecanese Dioceses, the Central Jewish Council of Greece, religious legal entities and licensed religious communities, said Kathimerini.
That’s to let them continue their charitable work, churches sometimes filling in gaps in lacking state resources, such as helping the homeless and having soup kitchens for the needy.
“Whoever is legal can benefit from the regulation,” a government official not named told the paper.
Revenues for the Church’s nearly 4,500 charities and structures whose staff are not paid from the state budget but from the metropolises’ own resources, which have taken a beating during the more than year-long pandemic.