May 5, 2006

Athena’s worshipers want to use the Acropolis

Posted at 1:00 pm in Acropolis

More details on the request by Greek worshipers of the Olympian gods to be allowed to worship them in the ancient temples which were originally dedicated to them.

The Guardian

Greek gods prepare for comeback
Helena Smith in Athens
Friday May 5, 2006
The Guardian

It has taken almost 2,000 years, but those who worship the 12 gods of ancient Greece have finally triumphed. An Athens court has ordered that the adulation of Zeus, Hera, Hermes, Athena and co is to be unbanned, paving the way for a comeback of pagans on Mount Olympus.

The followers, who say they “defend the genuine traditions, religion and ethos” of the ancients by adhering to a pre-Christian polytheistic culture, are poised to take their battle to the temples of Greece.

“What we want, now, is for the government to fully recognise our religion,” Vasillis Tsantilas told the Guardian. “We will petition the Greek parliament, and the EU if that fails, for access to worship in places like the Acropolis, for permission to have our own cemeteries and, where necessary, to re-bury the [ancient] bones of the dead.

About 98% of Greeks are Orthodox Christian, and all other religions except Judaism and Islam had been banned.

Yet the pagans say as many as 2,000 Greeks have signed up to their movement. Mr Tsantilas, 42, a computer scientist who came to paganism after toying with Buddhism, Taoism and Islam, said worshippers perceived the ancient gods as the “personification of the divine”.

But Greece’s powerful Orthodox Church takes a less charitable view, accusing the worshippers of idolatry and “poisonous New Age practices”.

Father Eustathios Kollas, who presides over the community of Greek priests, said: “They are a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion who wish to return to the monstrous dark delusions of the past.”

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1 Comment »

  1. EvgeniyK said,

    09.27.08 at 11:09 am

    “Monstrous dark delusions of the past” are christian medieval practices and their priests’ non-tolerance to others for almost 2 millenniums now. Greek paganism, as any other nature-centric (in any sense) social religion, is a cleaning matter, giving people their freedoms back. Olympians taught people to be brave and true, ask questions and seek answers, dare to challenge their lifes; Christianity wishes everybody to obey — ’cause each man is born as sinister from the start, and no questions why. That’s not right.
    Sorry if I insult anybody.

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