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Religious minorities

General overview

This heading provides information on the social perception of religious groups in Greece. For further information concerning religious minorities in Greece, see the Social and religious data (...)

This heading provides information on the social perception of religious groups in Greece. For further information concerning religious minorities in Greece, see the Social and religious data heading.

  • Further information: see the Mineurel website of information on religious minorities, concerning Greece.

D 5 March 2012   

The status of religious minorities

Only the Muslim minority enjoys a special status and is recognised as a legal person under public law. The Ministry of Religious Affairs is responsible for appointing the two muftis (Komitini and (...)

Only the Muslim minority enjoys a special status and is recognised as a legal person under public law.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs is responsible for appointing the two muftis (Komitini and Xanthi) in western Thrace but this nomination is contested by the minority. The other minority religious groups, including the Catholics, are only recognised as private associations, which often poses a problem, especially with regards to protecting their property.
Indeed, authorisation from the Minister of Education (which relies on the advice of the Orthodox Church) and Religious Affairs is necessary to obtain a permit to construct or build a church or other place of worship. The religion must be recognised, its form of worship must not go against public order or morality and it must not practice proselytism. Taking into account Greek legislation on proselytism (article 13 of the Constitution), several cases (for example for Jehovah’s Witnesses or Catholics) of the Greek State rejecting authorisations were judged by the European Court (for example Manousakis vs. Greece in 1996). In the same perspective, Jehovah’s Witnesses were often prosecuted in Greece for proselytism, and in this case as well there have been several European Court judgements (for example Kokkinakis vs. Greece in 1992).

D 19 September 2012    ALina Molokotos ASamim Akgönül

The Muslims of Thrace: a specific case

The specific case of Muslims living in Thrace, in the North of Greece, is governed by theTreaty of Lausanne of 1923 (in french). It stipulates Greece’s obligation (and Turkey’s for non-Muslims) to (...)

The specific case of Muslims living in Thrace, in the North of Greece, is governed by theTreaty of Lausanne of 1923 (in french). It stipulates Greece’s obligation (and Turkey’s for non-Muslims) to protect the religious, linguistic and educational freedoms of religious minorities.
The Muslim minority of Thrace seems homogenous, but it is divided, on a linguistic level, into three groups; Muslims of Turkish background, Pomaks and Roma. Minority schools, mainly primary schools but also two high schools, provide instruction solely in Turkish. Several years ago a quota was established for access to higher education for Greek Muslims.

D 19 September 2012    ALina Molokotos ASamim Akgönül

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