With nearly two million people out of work in a crushing economic crisis and more turning to the land to grow food as prices have remained high, the head of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos, has offered land to prospective farmers to cultivate.
In his Christmas message, Ieronymos did not say if the Church would charge a fee for the use of the land. “Whoever wants to work on Greek land, contributing to the country’s food security and the development of modern, exportable agricultural and livestock products, should know that what little land the Church has left is available to them,” he said. A scheme providing subsidized public farmland already exists.
He made the offer as part of a broader message urging Greeks, even in difficult conditions, to keep the spirit of Christianity alight. “Everyone who wants to work on the Greek land, contributing to the food sufficiency of Greece and the development of the new export agricultural products will have at his disposal the Church’s land,” Archbishop Ieronimos noted.
“Our homeland is facing crucial moments of agony and insecurity for the future. This is a hardship on our Christianity values and emotions, as well as, our lives until now.” He added that the Greek Church will continue to do what it can to help those affected by the crisis, such as the soup kitchens and free food it offers in the absence of government charity programs.