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Le débat sur les nouvelles cartes d’identité

  • October 2023

The decision of the Greek government to initiate the process of introducing the new identity cards (European Regulation 2019/1157) in September 2023 caused heated debates and reactions from Orthodox priests, monks, theologians and lay people.
The main argument was that it was thought that the new identity cards would contain an ‘anti-Christian technology’ in order to monitor people who would lose their privacy, while some argued that it wound contain the number of the Anti-Christ (the number of the beast). This issue appeared in the media and the Internet for a period of at least two months. During this time, the Orthodox Church of Greece was the only religious group which asked the government to provide details and clarifications about the new identities.
In July 2023, the Minister of Citizen Protection and the Chief of Police visited the Metropolitan of Piraeus and had an online meeting with another Metropolitan in order to “analytically inform and reassure them that the new identity cards do not contain data which put in danger Greek people’s freedom or in any way offend the Orthodox Christian faith”. In August, the new Minister repeated this affirmation through the media. However, in September, Orthodox groups organised demonstrations against the new identity cards in Athens and Thessaloniki, holding Christian crosses and holy icons. At the same time, the religious right-wing political party Niki (Victory) firmly opposed the new identities and produced a 13-page document to analytically present its official position. Another political party of the extreme-right, Elliniki Lyssi (Hellenic Solution), submitted a non-government bill to the Parliament including religious affiliation as an option in the new identity cards for those among the citizens who want to state it openly. This proposal was rejected by the relative Ministries. In September, the Holy Synod of the Church, after its assembly, announced that the issue of the new identity cards is a state matter and that the Greek courts have decided that the new identity cards are constitutional.

D 24 octobre 2023    AAlexandros Sakellariou

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