x

Society

Prayer in Kindergarten, Primary Schools Is Legal, but Atheist Students may Be Excused, Greek High Court Says

ATHENS – Morning prayer and school religious services for kindergarten and primary school students is constitutional and legal, according to a decision by the Council of State plenary on Friday, but so is the right to waive attendance for reasons of religious conscience.

Greece's highest administrative court reviewed a presidential decree of 2017 that related to the organization and operation of the schools, and particularly the part related to a joint prayer with teachers, as well as observing worship services on specific holidays.

The court ruled that prayer, religious ceremonies and the teaching of religion in these early grades are "necessary means serving the constitutional purpose of developing a religious conscience in Greek citizens, according to article 16 and paragraph 2 of the constitution." As a result, it said, the law "is addressed exclusively to students who follow the Christian Orthodox dogma, not to students of other religions, other denominations or atheists."

In the latter case, it said, atheists "enjoy the right of religious freedom, established in article 13, paragraph 1 of the constitution, and have a direct right to be excused from prayer and religious ceremonies, without any adverse result, as long as their parents submit a statement that they do not wish their children to participate in prayer or worship services on grounds of religious conscience."

Schools that refuse to waiver attendance for religious differences will be violating the Greek constitution and contravening the European Convention on Human Rights, the Council of State underlined, striking out the relevant section of the presidential decree as invalid.

RELATED

ATHENS - Two hundred people and 100 vehicles remained trapped on Attiki Odos on Tuesday morning, the Operations Manager of the company Attikes Diadromes Aristophanes Papadimitriou said.

Top Stories

Society

ATHENS — A severe weather front has hit Greece, with below-freezing temperatures and snowfall in many parts of the country, including the capital Athens and many Aegean islands.

Events

BROOMALL, PA – The community of St Luke in Broomall held the annual cutting of the Vasilopita event on January 23.

Society

ATHENS – Women in Greece – those who survive – are coming out to report domestic violence that has become endemic in the county, with 5,705 cases in the first 10 months of 2021, when there was a rash of femicide.

Video

Ouzo Talk Latest Podcast Features My Greek Odyssey’s Peter Maneas

SYDNEY – The latest episode of the Ouzo Talk Podcast for the Greek diaspora is now available, with Peter Maneas, host of the TV series My Greek Odyssey, joining Tom Skolarikis and Nick Athanassiou in the studio to discuss the hit series.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.