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Constitution of Greece of 9 June 1975

When the Constitution was being revised in 1975 there was a proposal to replace the invocation of the Holy Trinity in the Constitution by an article on the guarantee of individual and political rights of Greek citizens. After the strong reaction of the Church this proposal was withdrawn and until this very day the Constitution is proclaimed “In the name of the Holy and Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity”.

Article 3:

According to article 3, the “prevailing” religion of Greece is Eastern Orthodox under the authority of the Autocephalous Church of Greece, united spiritually with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

1. The prevailing religion in Greece is that of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ. The Orthodox Church of Greece, acknowledging our Lord Jesus Christ as its head, is inseparably united in doctrine with the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople and with every other Church of Christ of the same doctrine, observing unwaveringly, as they do the holy apostolic and synodal canons and sacred traditions. It is autocephalous and is administered by the Holy Synod of serving Bishops and the Permanent Holy Synod originating thereof and assembled as specified by the Statutory Charter of the Church in compliance with the provisions of the Patriarchal Tome of June 29, 1850 and the Synodal Act of September 4, 1928.
2. The ecclesiastical regime existing in certain districts of the State shall not be deemed contrary to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.
3. The text of the Holy Scripture shall be maintained unaltered. Official translation of the text into any other form of language, without prior sanction by the Autocephalous Church of Greece and the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople, is prohibited.

Article 5:

2. All persons living within the Greek territory shall enjoy full protection of their life, honour and liberty irrespective of nationality, race or language and of religious or political beliefs. Exceptions shall be permitted only in cases provided by international law.

Article 13:

The freedom of religion and conscience is guaranteed by article 13 of the constitution but freedom of religious worship is only guaranteed for “known” religions. This includes those whose dogma and worship is not secret or clandestine and whose churches and rites are open to the public, for example, Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Methodism and Jehovah’s Witnesses. These religions must not contradict the privileged status of the Greek Church. Proselytism (without being specifically defined) is strictly prohibited and punishable by law.

1. Freedom of religious conscience is inviolable. The enjoyment of civil rights and liberties does not depend on the individual’s religious beliefs.
2. All known religions shall be free and their rites of worship shall be performed unhindered and under the protection of the law. The practice of rites of worship is not allowed to offend public order or the good usages. Proselytism is prohibited.
3. The ministers of all known religions shall be subject to the same supervision by the State and to the same obligations toward it as those of the prevailing religion.
4. No person shall be exempt from discharging his obligations to the State or may refuse to comply with the laws by reason of his religious convictions.
5. No oath shall be imposed or administered except as specified by law and in the form determined by law.

Article 14:

3. The seizure of newspapers and other publications before or after circulation is prohibited. Seizure by order of the public prosecutor shall be allowed exceptionally after circulation and in case of:
a) an offence against the Christian or any other known religion

Article 16:

2. Education constitutes a basic mission for the State and shall aim at the moral, intellectual, professional and physical training of Greeks, the development of national and religious consciousness and at their formation as free and responsible citizens.

D 17 October 2012    ALina Molokotos-Liederman

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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