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De-Criminalize the Worship of the Gods
Acct. ID: 188298
Notice ID: 10817
Posted: August 1st., 2004
This Notice has been viewed 4158 times
Proclaimed by: Gitana
Proclaimed from: Santa Fe, Pennsylvania
Campaign to De-Criminalize the Worship of the Greek Gods in Greece
It is essential that the worship of the Greek Gods in Greece be de-criminalized for those people who wish to honour and follow the ancient Olympic Gods and traditions of their country. Many people outside of Greece will be surprised to learn that the current followers of the ancient religion in Greece are to be counted in their thousands!
For many years these people have suffered quietly, unable to do anything about the very difficult situation they find themselves in. One might of thought that now that Greece is a European Union member the situation would of changed - sadly not. Therefore, this 'campaign' is now hoping to make a real improvement in this situation during 2004, Olympic year, when the world's eye will be on Greece.
At the moment the situation is one of real state intimidation in Greece for all those people who worship the ancient Gods of Greece - even in the privacy of their own home. A five year prison sentence could be imposed on people who organise worship or meetings, and even on those people who take part in such meetings and ceremonies. This state enforced intimidation is an obvious abuse of human rights and the 'freedom of conscience' (as declared by the Council of Europe) of this significant group of people.
Clearly, the basic human right to assemble for worship is an extremely important one. Indeed, it is quite unbelievable for people outside of Greece to think that a government of a European Union country who has signed the 'declaration of human rights' can act in this way against a large number of its own people.
Following discussions with a number of "unofficial" longstanding groups in Greece which still organise ceremonies and worship to honour the ancient Gods in Greece, James Head, the co-ordinator of this campaign, who has himself lived 14 years in Delphi, decided that the first priority to improve this situation is to form a 'legal' group (currently impossible!) - and to have an 'official' place of worship in Greece. This is an absolute priority if Greeks and others are to 'come out of the closet' without intimidation and harassment in Greece.
DELPHI was a very important centre of the ancient Greek religion, and this campaign aims to establish a small place of worship in Delphi which will then be made available for the various Greek groups and overseas visiting groups to use to hold some of their worship and meetings in Greece. It will also be an 'information' centre for visitors to Delphi to find out more about the Greek Gods and the ancient religion generally. Note: that only a legal group can own a property for worship, and if one uses their own home or other premises one is strictly breaking the law. James is therefore in the process of working with lawyers to establish a modest legal place of worship in Delphi and hopes to make this a reality by spring 2005 or as soon as 'official' permissions and funds are in place.
Please contact James if you are interested in this important area and would like more information. James would also like to hear from Greeks and 'international' supporters who would be prepared to sign a new petition to the Greek Ministry of Culture in support of the legalisation of a 'group' of followers and a place of worship in Delphi.
Supporters of this campaign of course do not necessarily have to follow the Greek Gods themselves - they only have to have an interest in human rights and wish to see this legal 'wrong' corrected officially so that those Greeks who wish, can worship the religion they choose without fear of intimidation from the state.
Followers of the ancient religion inside or outside Greece who can help in anyway with this important Delphi based campaign please get in touch.
This campaign is going to take a while, and we do what we can when we can - and in some sort of logical sequence hopefully. This webpage will be updated in the new year (2005) once various applications for "legal recognition" and "legal" places of worship have been submitted the appropriate Greek authorities and ministries. All these legal applications should be in by the end of 2004.
Early in the new year I will email all the people who have kindly agreed to go on my email list for this campaign with the names and addresses of the various people in Greece we need to try and influence to take these applications seriously. This we think should be started with a campaign of letter writing to the various official parties in Greece. As I say we will supply names and address etc early in the new year.
Thank you for your help!
Co-ordinator - James Head, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada Contact - Jane Caldwell, email: email@example.com
USA Contact- Gitana, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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