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Griechenland: Religious education remains compulsory for Orthodox Christians

21. September 2023

Despite a number of applications from the Union of Atheists, the Greek Council of State has ruled to uphold the earlier decision of the Minister of Education according to which religious education in schools remains compulsory for Orthodox Christians. The Union sought to make it possible for any student to receive an exemption, and even for minor students themselves to request an exemption, even if their parents or guardians disagree. Instead, the Council ruled that only believers of non-Orthodox religions and atheists can be exempt, reports

In the case of minor students, only the parents or legal guardians can declare an exemption. Parents of non-Orthodox students must claim at least general reasons of religious conscience to justify an exemption, the Council ruled, to avoid the problem of frivolous exemptions.

The Church of Greece and the Church of Crete (part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople) came out in favor of the Ministry of Education’s earlier order, which the Council also upheld in the end. (Quelle:, 11. September 2023)