Browsing: state

The cross in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens. File photo Senior members of the Greek Orthodox Church expressed their opposition to the historic agreement between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos to remove some 10,000 priests and auxiliary staff from the state payroll. The agreement, reached on Tuesday, foresees the setup of a special fund to handle church assets, and changes in the salaries of clerics, who will no longer be civil servants but will be paid by the church through an annual state subsidy. Archbishop Ieronymos was forced to backtrack on Wednesday, stating…

Source: Fox News MOSCOW –  The Russian Orthodox Church is expanding its influence in what was once an officially godless state — and President Vladimir Putin appears eager to harness that resurgent power of faith to promote his own agenda. Long consigned to society’s margins in the Soviet era of “scientific atheism,” religious activists in today’s Russia can get theater performances banned and exhibitions closed. Their next target is to end state funding for abortion in a land where nearly half of all pregnancies end in termination. Putin has condemned recent attacks on art exhibitions and efforts to hound performers…

Source: The Economist BY B.C. | THESSALONIKI IN THE churches of this country’s second city, some of which date from the Byzantine era, there was a decent turnout of worshippers this morning for one of the most enigmatic and mystical rites of the Greek church calendar: a service commemorating the moment when the Virgin Mary, as a young girl, is said to have gone to live in the Jerusalem Temple and prepared to become a new kind of “temple” herself by carrying a divine child in her womb. The liturgical poetry was reassuringly familiar, but there is nervousness in the…