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Ancient Greek Religion

Ancient Greek Religion, Hot Religious Topics

Basic Principles
Hot Religious Topics
The BBC interviews
Committee of the Greek (Hellenic) Religion of Dodecatheon
Official Theses of The Greek Religion
Concerning Important Social Issues.
Our Committee, after numerous requests from our members seeking to be informed of the position of the Hellenic Religion upon various current topics, has issued the following official theses:
  What is the position of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of the relations between State and Religion?

  The Hellenic Religion not only supports the institutions validating Human Rights but emphasizes that they are, ideologically, part of its Worldview. It is well known that the first and most basic right of a person is that of religious freedom. This can only be truly respected in one case:  When there is true and complete separation of Church and State.
  All other solutions are hypocritical and result to situations like that of Greece, in which religious freedom has become a "problem" because as Greece is a part of the U.N. and the E.U. it is required to declare that it respects religious freedom, while all the time trying to come up with novel ways of keeping those declarations only on paper defending Orthodox Christianity’s sovereign status because, at the end of the day, all other religions are "against the nation".
  Thus the Hellenic Religion considers as the first step towards the validation of religious freedom the existence of a positively liberal constitution which defends and establishes the religious freedom of the citizens in a manner similar to the first amendment of the U.S. constitution. Why do we speak of a "first step" ? Because if the U.S.A. armed  with such a categorical stature (which is  accompanied by Thomas Jefferson's interpretation: The first amendment means that between the State and the Church - for the benefit of both - there has to be a wall.) has in the end fallen victim to Christian fundamentalism, then imagine how much additional fortification the liberal state demands to remain safe!


What is the position of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of the division between science and religion?

  For the Hellenic Religion there is no divide between science and religion, because the Hellenic Religion holds that the World and the Natural Laws are real and self-created, and not set into motion by an extra-mundane cause. Hence every scientific fact also represents a truly religious truth.
Notice the difference compared to the Christian view which rejects the word of science completely: To us, for example, the laws of inertia really exist while for the Christian view it is God who, usually, acts in a way which is possible to be described through the equations of inertia. However, it is possible or Him to act in any other way He pleases, the rarest of which are described as "miracles". This Christian view not only scorns science completely but also creates, in the soul of Christians living in our age, an important spiritual conflict.
The division between science and religion is today an important issue in the West because in the U.S.A. the Christians persistently demand (and in few rare cases achieve through court orders) to have the Christian Genesis beliefs taught as true and for equal hours as the subject of Cosmography! This state of affairs exceeds any comment!
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the subject of parapsychological/psuchical phenomena?

While monotheistic religions outright and without second thought reject any kind of parapsychological phenomena and prohibit their followers from investigating the science of parapsychology, because every feature of these phenomena threatens crucial aspects of their ideology (They believe in a crudely materialistic world and, at the same time, a non-material God!). The Hellenic outlook not only does it interpret fully these phenomena but it also predicts their existence, and vice versa, the truth of parapsychological phenomena validates the rightness of the Hellenic views!
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of racism?

Here our views differ completely from those of monotheism. Monotheism, via its belief in a single God who communicates through His prophets and has a chosen people, creates a crucial chasm between nations: on one side there is the "chosen" people and on the other there are "the nations", i. e. the followers and the non-believers, the pious and the infidels. Thus the followers of these religions not only see the traditions of other cultures as inferior, which is the definition of racism, but also believe that they will be "saving" their adherents if they pursue the complete destruction of this foreign culture, i.e. its "genocide", since genocide is also the destruction of a civilization, usually by means of conversion to Christianity and its characteristic culture. The destruction of the Hellenic civilization  by the Christian Church is a well known example, as well as that of the north and south American, African and Polynesian civilizations.
Here is the ultimate racism: Christians will often claim that they are the last to be racist. It is true that for Christianity there are no natural ethnic groups and in this sense they cannot be racists. However, their cosmopolitical outlook creates its own two artificial national identities: believer and non-believer! Since early Christianity the matter orf christian national identity is set in an absolute manner (A` Peter 2, 9 - B` Corinthians, 6, 13). This attitude has been almost perfectly preserved through the ages which is why the first Christian Orthodox Patriarch who colaborated with the Turks Scholarios used to say: When one asks me about my national identity I say: I am a Christian.. (MS. Grec de Paris. No 778, f. 209).
Of course the same goes for Muslims, as they too will claim that they do not discriminate between races. As if! For they consistently pursue the believer - non-believer (kafir) distinction only they are not content with rejection but continue to cultivate a deep hatred: the non-believers are no longer humans! The Koran is full of references demanding "not to associate with non-believers", while falsely describing them with expressions like.''They wish to corrupt you..from their mouths rises only hate, worst things lie in their hearts''!
For any traditional religion these things are different. They believe that all ethnic groups have traditions and religions suited to their evolutionary stage, their temperament, their idiosyncrasies, their attitudes. There is no characteristic of any nation which is inferior. For the Hellenic Worldview there is no chosen people as all nations have their local Gods and local patron heroes, who have walked and consecrated their lands. All nations have or have had their Man-Gods who have written their sacred literature describing the adventures of their own race!
The anti-racist attitude of the Hellenic Religion supports the true equivalence of each culture and the possibility of self-evolution, purporting that every nation ought to have the right to its own colour, land, religion. This attitude was evident when the Greeks ruled Egypt and middle East. One can observe contemporary colonists and the infamous missionaries accompanying them: The first thing they say to the natives is that their culture is inferior and they have to replace it with the Christian one. On the contrary the Greeks told no nation of the East that their culture was inferior, instead they accepted all the traditions and religions as equal and were actually accused as "wearing eastern garments", i.e. that they converted to the foreign cultures.
The gigantic Egyptian temples (not including those of the Giza plateau) which are today marveled at by millions of people are really rebuilts by the Ptolemies while the Hellenic rule of Egypt prompted the renaissance not of the Hellenic Religion but of the Egyptian! Why do the people of the Middle East consider the Greeks as their brothers? Because they retain that distant memory of brotherhood and utter respect for the culture and idiosyncrasies of each nation, which the Greeks imposed.
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of women's equality and their participation in the priesthood?

  The Hellenic tradition considers the equality of men and women as given, as well as equality in priesthood, where it is not only full but a Sacramental act is not even considered complete without the female presence. Our Committee also wonders whether it would be in accordance with basic human rights charts to legally exist religions that exclude women from priesthood.
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of the Christian/western type of marriage?

This type of marriage is only one among the many which have appeared in the course of history. The other large monotheistic religion, that of Islam, views sexuality, reproduction and marriage from a completely different angle. Different is also the angle from which the Jewish tradition views marriage, while the great traditional religions of the East , as does the Classical world, maintain parallel to marriage other institutions regarding sexuality and reproduction. And of course it should not escape our attention that in contemporary society there are under development various other forms of sexual relationships, partnership and reproduction.
In any case we believe that this form of marriage will continue to prevail in the future and that it represents a satisfactory institution for the majority of people.
We do believe that in contemporary social reality every relationship which has as one of its aims the production of offspring, ought to, in the interest of the children, become official through registry office marriage in order to enjoy the benefits and social security the law offers.
As far as the Hellenic religious outlook in particular is concerned, sexuality and reproduction do not represent, as Christianity appears to hold, marginal or unfortunate events in human life, which happen only to those who give in to the "temptation of the flesh". On the contrary, these events represent the cornerstones of  the creation process in the Universe following the Rhythm of the Cosmos, namely the male-female polarity which is the cause of  creation of all that exists, from the two universe-creating substances to the world of humans and Gods. In this sense sexuality is regarded as a sacred aspect of human life, assuming that it is experienced within its predefined, under the Rhythm of the Cosmos, limits, inspired by the Divine Law of Eros. On the other hand that particular kind of sexuality or marriage which move against the flow of Nature are undesired and unwanted.
Thus for the Hellenic Religion marriage is considered as the heterosexual union of two people which has occurred under the natural attraction of the pair that are adults and of  reproductive age.
So, the Greek religion blesses an heterosexual union
a) If it is evident that the decision of the future couple arises out of natural attraction and is not the product of any private expediency.
b) It is not a marriage of minors or beyond the reproductive age people.
As far as the officiating is concerned it takes place when the following prerequisite stand:
  A registry office marriage has already taken place.
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of inter-racial and inter-religious marriages?

To begin with, as far as marriage between two people of different religions is concerned our religion distinguishes two cases:
a) In the case where the other person follows a traditional religion it is possible for the marriage to take place, assuming that he or she is fully aware of the polytheistic nature of traditional religions and shares (completely) the Basic Principles of the Hellenic Religion. In that case it would be compatible to have on the family altar statues from both religions and to celebrate together the holidays of both religions.
b) In the case where the other party is an atheist or a follower of a monotheistic religion then it is not possible to bless a marriage.
Our religion warns the youth that any differences between them can be bridged with a bit of good will (which is why it is possible to have a marriage between different nationals). However, that does not stand in the case of religious beliefs. A conflict of religious views within a couple has  always devastating consequences on the marital relationship!
In the case where the other partner wishes to join the Hellenic Religion it would have to be made clear whether this is an honest reflection of his/her intentions and if so to what degree he or she is able to comprehend in its entirety the Hellenic Worldview.
Furthermore, as far as the union between different nationals in concerned:
Our religion regards that the existing differences in mentality, idiosyncrasies, traditions, ethos, habits between nations are so great that such marriages have, as statistics clearly show, a high percentage of failure! Additionally there are issues of a general chromosomal discrepancy in the offsprings that may have concequances on their appearance, on the co-ordination of the different anatomical elements, on the physiology of the different internal organs and so on.There is also to be considered the serious identity issue which the offsprings will be suffering from not knowing whether, for example, they belong to the Hellenic or the Swedish national and cultural tradition!
Our religion warns the young ones to consider carefully the above issues before embarking on such a relationship. Nevertheless, it will officiate and bless such a marriage on the understanding that the couple is fully aware of, and willing to accept, its consequences.
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of premarital relations, abortion, contraception and family planning?

The traditional view regarding sexuality comes into conflict with the monotheistic/monotheistic position, which claims that the sexual function is purely "mechanical", hence it is performed equally "well" between any two heterosexual persons and in any case the point is to reproduce (which is why for the Christian Orthodox Church marriage is a necessary evil, being the third and worst option after becoming a monk or a nun, which is considered the best option, and the blessing of "marriage without sexual relationship", which is considered the second best option).
According to the traditional view, which goes along the latest medical and psychiatric views, sexuality is considered a natural fact as well as a factor of good health.
Furthermore, the sexual function is not "mechanic". On the contrary it is a general and very important function of the organism, which is affected by a large variety of factors, mental, neurological, reflexive, electrical, the soul, and represents forhumans mainly an act of the brain. Thus between the two parties there has to be a cooperative interaction of all the aforementioned elements.
Therefore the prime importance of sexuality is something that needs to be made clear to future couples. Premarital relationships ought to be considered necessary if a matured and informed decision about marriage is to be taken.
On the other hand the Christian view about the unimportance of sexuality regarding marriage and its prohibition of premarital relationships ought to be criticised severely at every chance, for it had as a result the creation of whole generations of miserable people. Nowadays in Europe legislation is being introduced to control cults which hold unnatural beliefs leading their followers to suffer psychologically during their lives. Here is one of these teachings! We urge the relevant European authorities to examine our claim.
The traditional outlook judges that family planning, which is necessary in today’s society, as well as the decision to have children, is a matter that ought to rest on the discretion of women (of course to the knowledge of the husband). To that end we recommend the use of modern contraceptives (with pills to be used as a last option) which reduce to a minimal unwanted pregnancies. As far as abortions are concerned we believe that it is up to the woman to decide whether she has all that is required to raise a child.
Regarding the question of when does conscience arise and the soul joins permanently the body, i.e. whether abortion is a homicid, the Sacred Tradition states that the permanent union between soul and body happens at birth after the first breath.
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of homosexuality?

The Sacred Tradition, and at this point it conflicts greatly with Christianity which without much thought condemns it as "sin", "perversion" etc., declares that in those cases where the situation is not a result of circumstances or social mimicking but it represents a genuine expression of the individual, then it is due to the following reasons:
The prime cosmic polarity of male-female is also observed in humans, the soul of whom, when it reaches the highest mortal plain incarnates to either a male or a female personality and in the course of many lifetimes there builds slowly all those various and deep characteristics which are the essence of a female or male personality, which will follow the person even in ones entrance to the Higher Worlds. That is how there can be male or female souls which in turn explains the existence of female or male Gods. However, in Nature accidents can happen and such an accident is the implantation of a soul in a foetus of the opposite sex. As a natural consequence of this accident the character and personality of the person is different to that ones body!
Here we have to note that this traditional view is the only one which explains the phenomenon consistently and fully!
Indeed that this phenomenon reaches the very depths of the human soul and it’s not just an acquired condition or a result of some kind of neurosis is supported by the complete failure of modern psychology to change the quality of such people, despiteemploying all modern psy- chiatry offers, from psychoanalysis to the creation of Pavlov type depended reflexes with the use of electroshocks!
  On the contrary, acquired homosexuality, which is a product of special circumstances and mimicking, is perceived by the person as well as those around him as "pretence behavior".
As it is easy to gather from the above, these persons do not differ in anything else from anybody. Hence any discrimination towards them is unjust and unjustifiable, without any real basis other than a social prejudice originating, we judge, in the Christian writings, which in an unacceptable manner shower homosexual people with various demeaning adjectives proclaiming its very existence as a "sin". This Christian view, which has destroyed the lives of millions of unfortunatepeople over the centuries has to be condemned as untrue, without proof and as instigating social racism. It ought to be prosecuted immediately in the High Courts.
Our religion does not consider homosexuals as "special" in any manner.  On the contrary by interpreting well the true cause of their psychological state it is in a position to answer the burning question of many: "why do I feel this way" and only it explains persuasively that they are neither "perverted" nor "sinners". This has the positive result of allowing them to adjust smoothly to their psychological  reality  and to consciously accept it, understanding that it is not something that has to be expressed through homosexual practices nor something that needs to be "stated"!
Naturally these people ought not to marry just to avoid suspicion while their living together with a same sex partner ought to be discreet.
The demand of many homosexuals to establish same sex marriages with all the legal consequences this ensues does not sit right with our religion because:
Firstly, the concession by the state of various privileges to married couples is justified, as we see it, by the fact that it represents the only legal form of reproduction. Otherwise, there opens a Pandora’s box of irrational demands. For example, why should one transfer his pension to his partner and not to anyone whatsoever. People could perform marriages just for the economic benefits, one could pass on his pension to his porter if he wanted to! The social status of marriage becomes a farce.
Secondly, just as our religion considers that the marriage of post-reproductive age people demeans the institution and does not bless such marriages, likewise it will not officiate over such marriages which are by definition "sterile".
Additionally, it has to be taken into consideration that the Sacred Tradition prohibits such people from taking ministerial positions. This happens because of the more general prohibition of not permitting  to enter priesthood people with any malfunction of the reproductive system (since, among other things, it disturbs the, symbolically expressed in priesthood, male-female polarity, enacted by the priests and priestesses respectively). This prohibition, as shown above, is not the result of any evaluative judgment against homosexuals nor any kind of "special treatment", but rests simply on real and existing reasons which we all should take into consideration and which do not consist "discrimination" any more than saying that a short-sighted person ought not be an airplane pilot!
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of conversion and the introduction of young people to the organisation of the religion?

First of all, the issue of conversion:
As a traditional religion we cannot condone conversion away from other traditional religions because we consider the ritual and institutions of every traditional religion as the best suited for the people who developed them. Hence we think it is unacceptable to pursue the conversion, for example, of Yoruba demanding from them to replace the statue of Ellegua with that Hermes! That does not make sense! The only thing a Greek theologian could add to the other traditions is to clarify obscure and complicated parts of the Sacred Tradition which the Hellenic Religion maintains intact.
On the other hand our religion has a sacred duty to enlighten the populations of the Western World, which despite living in the background of the Renaissance values of the Graeco-Roman civilization have not under stood the religious base of those ideas.
Secondly, regarding the issue of the introduction of young people in the organisation of the religion:
Our religion considers as the foundation of spirituality the free development of the personality of children and young people and thus: Absolutely condemns the ease with which the Law provides the parents, in cooperation with the church they belong to, to "brain wash" their children, at a very young age when their knowledge, critical abilities and confidence have not matured, and to force their dogmas through "the fear of God" and other such psychopathological mechanisms.
We think that this is an unacceptable situation and the basis for the perpetuation of all kinds of superstitions. We believe that the mere fact that a couple has produced an offspring does not give it the right to rape its personality and to instill in its yet developing conciousness unnatural and irrational dogmas or any dogma at all.
Likewise we absolutely condemn, as disgusting and violently opposing the most basic principles of justice, the practice of baptizing infants, which has the sole purpose of binding the person to a religion without his adult consent.
The Greek religion’s adherents can bring their children to watch the Hellenic rituals or talks and can freely talk to them about the Hellenic values. However, always in an informative and tolerant tone and manner, always reminding them that the choice of religion is a strictly personal matter, that spiritual freedom is the most valuable asset in a person's life and hence it is something one ought to define freely when mature enough.
Thus the Hellenic Religion accepts only adults in its church membership, through the specially established classical ritual of the Rite of Passage.
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of religious education in schools?

As mentioned above, our religion considers the free development of the children's  personality  as the foundation of spirituality. Hence we absolutely condemn the ease with which the Law provides the parents, in cooperation with the priests of the church they belong to, to "brain wash" their children, at a very young age when their knowledge, critical abilities and confidence have not matured. We also condemn the view that, one "belongs" hereditary to the religion ones parents follow and, of course, that it is the duty of the state to assume the "brain washing" of the child. We are talking about the situation in Greece and in various other states all over the world where state owned schools propagate the 'state religion' with a compulsory religious programm.
We believe in the need for the removal of all religious symbols from schools and their replacement by ethnic/national symbols. For example, in Turkish schools the religious prayer has been replaced by a declaration of national faith.
We believe that the teaching of religion ought to be replaced by a class on a general discussion on religion and spirituality in a scientific and informative manner and taught by religion specialists or sociologists.
We also suggest, in Greece, the conversion of the state university Orthodox christian theology departmens (which existence is unconstitutional) into  religious studies departments . We believe that if a religion desires to "promote" itself it must build its own private theology schools.
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of sexual education in schools and of the sexual relations of teenagers?
We think that at last the strange and unnatural Christian beliefs regarding sexual matters being "dirty" and "taboo" which we judge as the main factor in the creation of various neurotic and other psychopathological disturbances in today's youth, are subsiding
Nowadays in Europe legislation is being introduced to control cults which hold unnatural beliefs, leading  people to a psychopathological life: Here is one of the beliefs which guarantees the creation of such a neurosis: To teach, as christians do, teenagers when their normal interest about their body and its functions highten because of  the physiological changes of puberty, that their body is filthy and "ugliness"!
Schools ought to deal with the subject of human physiology and health care, which has to gain prime importance so that all citizens acquire a basic understanding of medical matters. The subject of reproduction ought to be dealt in a similar manner as the other subject matter but extra care being taken to ensure that students are protected from the Christian beliefs which teach that sex is something "dirty" or a "sin", but instead to be stressed that reproduction is just another function of the human body.
As far as teen-sex is concerned we have to observe:
a) In certain schools of the Western world the subject of Hygiene and the teaching of the reproductive systems function has deviated to a teaching promoting sexual relationships between students. This unacceptable fact we absolutely condemn.
b) The Christian undervaluation of sexuality as a marginal function, not worth anything within the human life has produced the modern atheistic view as well as the modern protestant "progressive" Christian churches view, which in essence proclaims that since sex has not any value and is not essential to the spiritual development of people it can equally well take place between minors! This explains the curious phenomenon of how the U.S.A., a fundamentalist Christian country (A recent survey has shown that 38% of the population believes that the Bible is in fact word by word God-inspired! In Europe the respective number is below zero!) is also the country of teenage sex!
According to the Hellenic religious outlook, which contrasts sharply to the Christian, sexuality is neither unimportant nor neglectable. On the contrary it is a prime factor in the development of people and societies and as such we have to seriously take it into consideration and treat it with the respect it commands and not turn it into a teenage "game"!
Our religion judges the existence of teenage-sex not only as unacceptable but does not even officiates marriages between minors. Likewise we view as utterly unacceptable the fact that the state allows marriages between minors, obeying the Christian doctrine which blesses marriages even between newly-born infants!
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of the incarcerating system and the death penalty?

We believe that the current prison system and its employees do not perform their task of "correcting" the inmates. We are not in favor of long term prison sentences and we endorse a correction system which will promote the rehabilitation of inmates using well established psychological methods that take into consideration the structure of the personality. The penal system as Plato has said, has to treat the criminal as a patient and pursue his cure, not revenge.
As far as the death penalty is concerned, we believe that it ought to be used only very  rarely  but, neverthless, it ought to exist otherwise the state remains defenseless against elements which undermine the very fabric of society, as in the following cases: a) the fearful murderers who even from prison terrify the citizens b) putting together a gang with criminal intentions, e.g. drug trafficking or terrorist actions c) the crime of High Treason.
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of medical care, suicide and euthanasia?

As it is known the development of modern medicine is based on the classical medical practices of the Asclepiads and the theoretical works of Hippocratic medicine and, also, is inspired by the Classical ideal of the capability of science in discovering  the true nature of things.
Christianity not only destroyed the Asclepieia but during the entire middle ages banned medicine, which it described as "witchcraft" while explaining the source of illness through Bible stories. Nowadays most Christian churches do not insist on condemning medicine although neither do they state the opposite. However, some  Christian churches still do this! Which is why the relations between medicine and religion are considered as a problem in Western states, for the question is raised of whether a religion has the right to deprive its members, especially the minors, of access to modern medical care. Almost every day in the U.S.A children die from easily curable illnesses because they belonged to this or that Christian sect which renounced certain or all medical practices.
We believe that nowadays when legislation is being introduced to regulate the practices of cults, it won't be too long before they are also asked to officially remove these commands from their churches.
The above apply especially to the Christian Orthodox church which has to clear up its position because it never denounced the teachings of St. John Chrysostome, who denounced medical practices, and which were put into use when the Byzantine emperor Leon the Wise made them  laws of the state!
Our religion judges that suicide, if it takes place because during a crisis in a person's life there are unsurpassable obstacles, does not constitute a solution because the purpose of human life is the ethical and spiritual completion of the person, which is achieved by dealing successfully with life’s troubles. Hence escaping a difficult situation will only result to that situation reappearing in the future lives until one would be capable to cope with it. The myths about the "eternally" punished in Hades are nothing but an example of the mentally obstinate people who unsuccessfully waste a number of lives until they manage to change their attitude. Hence everyone is obliged to deal successfully with any obstacles hee faces, in order to achieve a smooth spiritual evolution.
Our religion does not consider suicide a "sin" under the Christian meaning, which holds that by it the divine is offended and refuses to present a service for the deceased. Nevertheless, it does regard it as mistake which causes the spiritual stagnation of the individual.
Still, our religion does find suicide acceptable when the human dignity is at stake as for example when a person has found himself captive and it is certain that his dignity will be utterly destroyed. The thinking behind this being that the situations where this occurs do not have natural origins and hence do not consist a trial of evolution.
Likewise, the serious diseases which cause suffering  to a point beyond description or jeopardize any means of human dignity are of human design justify a petition of euthanasia. We judge the Christian beliefs of "God teaching us through suffering" as utterly humiliating the human dignity and unacceptable. Hence it becomes questionable whether it is permissible or belonging to cult control legislation the religious teachings of "divine suffering" or "divine origins" of suffering.
Thus we regard as self evident that the patient has the right to terminate their life which to him present no longer a human substitute.
It is also questionable whether it is legitimate to exist religions which force their subjects, through the "fear of God" teachings, to suffer the humiliating and dehumanizing last stages of terminal diseases like cancer.  The law introduced in France recently states that any religion which does not respect the dignity of its members is disbanded!
What is the view of the Hellenic Religion on the issue of disposal of the dead?

Our religion considers as the ideal form of disposing of the dead the cremation of the body on an open funeral pyre after the Hindu prototype. That is consistent with the tradition of the Golden Age which continued to the Homeric years and the Classical Age, and accords completely with the preservation of human dignity, which is heavily damaged by the undignified custom of the  burial, which comes from the age of the great geological upheavals when great disasters reduced humanity back to barbarism.
However, where legislation does not allow this, adherents can still choose the furnace cremation.
It should be noted here that the cremation of the dead is increasingly gaining ground even in Christian countries like the U.S.A. where the number of people opting for cremation of their loved ones is rising steadily (1992: 21%, 1995: 25%), also in Canada (36%), while in some areas it is the first choice (British Columbia 75%).
As far as the Greek laws are concerned they not only refuse any type of cremation, but the government officials ignore the thousands of petitions, as well as the pleas of the Mayors of the Greater Athens area where the overfilled and filthy cemeteries are now a danger to public health. What ought we assume? That they are prisoners of the Christian Orthodox Church, which wishes to force its beliefs upon the whole of society?  The autocratic refusal of the state even to answer the petitions of its citizens shows a complete lack of respect towards the Law, which they have voluntarily pledged to serve and protect!