Anglican Church In Greece Gains Legal Status As An Official Religion

Canon Malcolm Bradshaw from St Paul’s church in Athens writes that “Members raised a glass of ‘bubbly’ to celebrate the recent passing of a Bill in the Hellenic Parliament which established in law ‘freedom of religion’ in Greece. The Anglican Church was one of several Churches named in the Bill along with the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Evangelical Church, the Coptic and Assyrian Churches and the German Evangelical Church.  On the passing of the Bill these Churches immediately became official religions of Greece. Other expressions of religion can acquire a legal status by applying to the courts. The Orthodox Church, the Islamic community in northern Greece and Judaism already possessed a legal status. The Orthodox Church was a  promoter of this Bill. For over eight years the Anglican Church in Greece has been seeking a legal status. It is most grateful to Bishop Gavriel Papanicolaou, presently Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, for working with it during these eight years and insuring that its name was included in the Bill. For the Anglican Church in Greece the possession a legal status (a status that allows for the full jurisdiction of the Diocesan Bishop) makes a huge difference.  It can now come from ‘under the radar of the law’ where it has been since the 1830’s. ‘Yippee’ and ‘God be praised’. The ‘bubbly’ went down well.”