Greek State recognizes Hellenism as religion


Almost twenty years and some hundreds of letters of protest after the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes (YSEE) was founded in 1997, Greek state has finally recognized the polytheistic indigenous religion in April 2017. Greek constitution designates Orthodox Christianity as state religion and 97% of the population refer to themselves as such. Pagans have been objective to discrimination and general disadvantage. They were not allowed to buy land in order to build houses of worship nor could pagan priests perform marriage ceremonies. YSEE even reported insults, hostilities and death threats.

According to the association about 2000 Greeks practice the Ethnic Hellenic religion. After the recognition as a “known religion” the next goal for the YSEE will be the recognition as a religious statutory body in Greece. They are prepared to approach the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in that matter if necessary, YSEE’s secretary said. Working through EU legislation is nothing new to the YSEE anyway as they have been a member of the Union’s action program to combat discrimination (2001-2006).

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