Religion in Greece

Almost 98% of the population adheres to autochetial (independent) Greco-Orthodox religion. Muslims, Catholics and Protestants meet in border areas.

Greek Orthodox Church plays an important role in society.

It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of the Greek Orthodox Church to the formation of the nation and its daily life. According to official data, 98% of the country’s believing countries – the parishioners of the Greek (Elaladsk) Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Universal Patriarch. According to the Constitution, the church is separated from the state, however, at least half of the sort of priests pays exactly the state. The influence of religious institutions in the country is truly comprehensive – the priest is a very distinguished person in the local community, most of the Greeks do not represent the wedding ceremony or funeral without church, about baptism or Easter and there is nothing to say. In each house, you will definitely hang images, they can be seen in almost all offices, stores and even in buses or taxis. In many schools, the academic year begins with the blessing of the priest, in some teach the law of God. Interestingly, freedom of religion is recognized in the Constitution, but, according to local canons, the transition to another denomission is officially prohibited.

Each city, commune, commerce or church have "His own holy" and special festive day in his honor, which usually turns into "Panigiri" – Religious and cultural festival, within which various church services are held, banquets, musical and dance performances. Many Greeks return to native places specifically for visiting such a festival – and in fact, according to only official statistics, almost 40% of local men work quite far from home. Most Greeks do not celebrate their birthday, but day "His" holy, in honor of which they got a name – certain. Which is characteristic, local ingenuity introduced in the face of the saints of even the pagan gods like Dionysus or antique philosophers of Socrates and Plato, and therefore there are a lot of reasons for the holidays. At the same time, those whose name is not associated with the soles, celebrate the name day on the day of all saints, after 8 weeks after Easter.

It is characteristic that the law resolving civil marriage acts in the country since 1982, but still 95% of the steams are crowned in the church. And at the same time, Greece is the second from the end of the list (after Italy) of the European Union country in terms of the birth rate, and its population will grow rapidly – much faster, by the way than in Germany or Sweden. And all this with quite a lot of life expectancy – 75 years for men and 80 – for women.

Greece is one of the recognized centers not only Orthodoxy as such, but also monastic life in general. There are about 800 monasteries in the country, among which such religious places like Meteora or Athos. However, in practice, local monasteries are populated pretty poorly and even on Athos constantly lived hardly more than one and a half hundred ministers of the cult, and many monks at all and not the Greeks on origin. Many churches and chapels of the country are standing for almost all year round, opening the doors only on the saint’s day to which they are dedicated, or at the request of tourists – the key is usually stored in a caretaker who lives somewhere nearby.

Religion in Greece

At the same time, any kind of disrespectfulness to Greek statehood or church, as well as their employees, may end. The Greeks themselves with a noticeable irony, if not more, belong to the central authorities, but most local mayors and governors are really "Native from the people" and use specific authority. But the priest also serves as something like a spiritual community leader, often combining his direct responsibilities with the role of the magistrate. It is recommended to avoid any ironic comments on their address, especially in public. It is interesting that the oral censure from the priest or the condemnation of the community in most cases is significant for the Greek much more than the verdict of the court, and therefore the majority of local residents are very preferably.

At the same time, people ultrarelective Greeks are difficult to call – here is a calm and respectful attitude towards the church, and nothing more. The Greeks are very superstitious, and the ancient pagan traditions are brightly traced. Not accepted someone to praise, especially from members of his family. Almost all worn peculiar amulets – each one, but most often you can see a simple turquoise bead (especially in children), sometimes with an eye painted on it – a popular tourist souvenir. Houses and means of transport are decorated with icons, even donkeys are often equipped with colored beads. At any "Danger" Greek necessarily plunges three times through the left shoulder and knock on the tree. Saturday before Easter "For good luck" Be sure to be broken the plate (it symbolizes the death of death), the same rite will be performed at the wedding. And sacrifice sacrifice or lamb – the same integral part of many Christian holidays of the country, like many centuries ago, at the time of very other gods. Also be sure to offer a guest to drink something, even glasses of water or coffee, which is the echo of an ancient tradition of fence from evil forces. In general, it is often impossible to understand all this tangle of faith, traditions, rites and prejudice.

Equally bright pagan bones carry lush Greek carnivals, which, although noted in accordance with various Dates of the Christian calendar, have obvious roots in antiquity. However, something else can be expected in the country where Parthenon still stands and the Olympus is towers, and the names of the ancient gods wears almost a third of the mountains and valleys. However, "Modern" Holy Greeks honored with the same scope and passion as the ancient gods. The most striking example of this is … Syrtaki. The same dance without which no holiday is not accounted for and which has long been a business card of the country. Despite the fact that in itself he is very young ("classical" The option was invented literally in a few minutes by Mikis Teodrakis for the Hollywood film Jeremy Arnold "Greek Zorba", 1964.), he absorbed a lot of dance elements of truly folk dances of the country – Cretan "Pidichtos" and "Sirtos", Athenssky "Hasapico", Island "Nalpico", Continental "Zeibekiko" and dozens of others. And the Greeks themselves, without regard to tourists, dance all the same ancient folk dances, just calling them "Sirtaki" – For brevity and clearer. In fact, the dance and musical traditions of Greece are so complicated and diverse that not one hundred scientific papers are written about them, and dance groups are still indispensable participants of any little much important event of the country.

By the way, the Greeks still give sincere preference precisely by their folk art forms, so it is quite possible to see all the same "Sirtaki" on a youth disco, or completely unthinkable variations on any wedding, or that is not uncommon – at the funeral. At the same time, the musical instruments are used as ancient – indispensable buzoki (another business card of the country, also regenerated from non-existence by the composer Mikis by Teodorakis, and the word itself "Buzuki" still denotes a nightly restaurant with live music), lute, lira, reed flute, floly, mandolin and others. And, of course, a folk costume is as an indispensable member of many holidays. And the Greeks use it not only "on the occasion of" – Here is a richly ornamented shirt, embroidered vest, a black skirt with a bright apron or a red handkerchief with suspensions can be seen on the holidays no less often suit-three or business dresses. Even time honorable guard at the national shrines are not in the parade army form, but in traditional skirts, vests, narrow pants and "slippers with pomponchiki" – So great respect for local residents to their history and traditions.

Religion in Greece

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