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  • August: Church and Education

In a battle opposing teachers’ unions and the Ministry of Education regarding, among other things, proposals to streamline the use of teachers, the Church of Cyprus entered the debate in a reminder of its historic role. In a letter issued by Archbishop Chrysostomos in August 2018, it was suggested that five Church Holidays be abolished. According to the Church Prelate: “We have noticed that few, if any, educators, take advantage of religious holidays for the purpose for which they have been established. Neither they nor their students use the time for religious worship on those days. These days are simply used as holidays.” These five holidays include the Archbishop’s own name day. Teachers’ unions are not opposed to this proposal, even though it must be studied by the proper committee.

  • April: Church taking cut of funeral donation

A recent decision was made by the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus to grant families of deceased people the right to contribute to charities without having to pay the Church 40% of the proceeds. This decision is in line with a law passed by the Parliament allowing such contributions to go wherever the relatives of the deceased want. Two bishops, of Famagusta and Tamassos, are opposed to this decision.

  • March: Decriminalization of abortion

After years of discussions, the Greek Cypriot Parliament passed a law decriminalizing abortion. The law allows termination of an unwanted pregnancy up to 12 weeks of gestation. In the case of rape, an abortion can take place up to 19 weeks. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus stated that for it, pregnancy does not concern only women and their bodies, but also the fathers and God.

D 27 February 2019    ANicolas Kazarian

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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