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Society

State Department Report: Greece Has Positive Attitude Towards Jewish Community

ATHENS — The 2020 annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom on Greece notes that "the constitution states freedom of religious conscience is inviolable and provides for freedom of worship, with some restrictions while recognising Greek Orthodoxy as the prevailing religion."

It referred to the Golden Dawn case, saying that, on October 7, an appeals court in Athens ruled that the Golden Dawn political party, commonly characterized as neo-Nazi, was a criminal organisation, finding seven of its 18 party leaders guilty of directing a criminal organisation. The court found Golden Dawn members responsible for a series of physical attacks and verbal harassment since 2012 against perceived outsiders, including Muslim asylum seekers and Jews, the report said.

It also referred to the ability of minority religious communities to establish houses of worship and government initiatives affecting both the Muslim minority in Thrace and Muslim immigrants.

The report underlined the fact that, on January 27, Prime Minister Mitsotakis attended memorial events marking the 75th anniversary since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. As it said, he became the first Greek premier to visit the site, "stating he did so to honour the memory of all Greek Jews who perished there."

According to Jewish leaders, the government continued to help the Jewish community of Thessaloniki in its efforts to recover its original archives, found by Soviet troops in a castle in Lower Silesia, Germany, following Germany’s defeat and subsequently transferred to Moscow, the report added.

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