SYRIZA Wants State Break With Church

SYRIZA Wants State Break With Church

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SYRIZA Member of Parliament Tasos Kourakis
SYRIZA Member of Parliament Tasos Kourakis

A proposal by a Member of Parliament from the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party for separation from the government with the Greek Orthodox Church – and a tax on those who declare themselves to be Orthodox Christians – has prompted an angry response from the ruling New Democracy Conservatives.

Speaking at a conference organized by the theology department at Aristotle University, SYRIZA lawmaker Tasos Kourakis spoke in favor of a separation of the Church of Greece and the state with the church funding itself rather than via state coffers.

Kourakis added that another option would be to impose a church tax on all Greeks who declare themselves to be Christian Orthodox. The MP said the revenues raised could be used to cover church costs and clerics’ salaries. Similar taxes apply in other European countries, including Germany.

New Democracy issued a statement condemning Kourakis and SYRIZA, likening the proposal to “Stalinist measures” and arguing that it would be unconstitutional as it would discriminate between Greeks based on their religious beliefs. As many as 96 percent of Greeks have reportedly said they are Orthodox believers. The government pays the salaries of priests and the church has been fighting attempts to impose more taxes on the institution during the country’s crushing economic crisis.

SYRIZA opposes the terms of bailout conditions that have kept the economy from collapsing but imposed big pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions. The party is a motley collection of Communists, a doctrine that forbid religious worship, as well as other far-Leftist elements that include some who declared themselves to have anarchist backgrounds.

While SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has been in the U.S. on a tour to convince skeptics that his party is not extremists, his lawmakers have been increasingly speaking out against the coalition government, with New Democracy claiming the Leftists want to bring down the government and are fostering political violence.

 

  • AlexBC

    Syriza’s real identity is communism. They would work to eliminate our Greek identity as well. The claim they support Greece, in practice all they do is rant for illegals, beg for handouts from other Greeks, treasonous support the Skopian irredentists, and constantly encourage strike and riots.

    They are anti-nationalist to the point of racism towards Greeks. Most of the people that vote for this party are anti-Hellenic extremists. (also see Greek civil war where the communists ended up murdering Greek for foreign communists in IMRO) This party is evil.

  • Adde

    Stupid move, really really stupid, they really don’t know what they are doing. Re vlakes, just look at what is happening in Northern Europe. In my second country France we did the same thing and now the state is directly financing mosques with the taxpayers money to appease our muslims (because the politicians are cowards and don’t want troubles so they kiss secularism good by). And the mosques which are built theses last 10 years are far many more that new churches have been built so a lot of money have been lost
    Secularism can only work with strong politicians and army personnels ready to use violence to enforce it like the Kemalists did in Turkey but now, even them have been overpowered by the religious.
    Seriously, what is the point to remove our Orthodox Religion if it’s to end up with Islam at its place ???? What do Syriza want exactly ? That we end up an Ottoman province again ?
    Excuse me to say this but this is really a party of idiots. Our Orthodox Religion is a wall against radical islam establishing itself in the society like in the Northern European countries (Sweden, England, Denmark, France, Belgium, ….). That is one of the only advantages Hellas has over the Western European countries, don’t throw it out.

  • Spiro

    The Church kept Greek identity alive under Muslim occupation, its the reason we are STILL speaking Greek, and the reason we don’t need to falsify our history as the Skopians seem to feel the need to do. It’s a shame that its a Greek party itself who wants to diminish the presence of the Church, there are some 12 million people that are Greek Orthodox, Greece is the sole bastion of our unique faith, why feel the need to drive a nail through its heart—yet let the gov’t foot the bill for building a mosque, A MOSQUE, for muslims here illegally. Anathema.

  • AlexBC

     I am not religious and I agree with you. Our church is a defender of Greeks… unlike our communists who constantly attack the Greek people.

  • Alithia

    Well, it’s obvious. God didn’t give the leftist a big mouth but not too much brains and now they seek their revenge. 

  • Cypriot

    I agree with what you say, but your understanding of communism is completely off. Communism has nothing to do with this. You can still be patriotic and nationalistic whilst being communist. Just saying.

  • leventi

    What a breath of fresh air to see SYRIZA politicians actually showing their true colours. Please SYRIZA keep talking this nonsense and your popularity will drop so fast you’ll be relegated to the same dustbin as PASOK.
    Maybe I have missed something…..but to be Greek is also to be Greek Orthodox irrespective of whether you attend church every Sunday or only at Easter. The two are inseparable.
    If SYRIZANS want to worship the hammer and sickle then they should go and live somewhere else.

  • AlexBC

    It is your understanding that is off. Communist Syriza lobbies for Illegals. It treasonously supports irredentist Skopians. Its Mps slander any Greek that opposed them as fascists and racists in foreign media.

    Then of course communism is an evil ideology for imbeciles.

  • Lemi

    Now go ahead and change the constitution SYRIZA, then pay the Church back what it has spent unadvertised in charity (unlike our heroes at ROTARY) and while your at it hand them back Kolonaki which was meant to house disabled WWII veterans

     (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMGhxqj_Aic

    and then go to pray at the alter of the individual man/woman or lets call your  god MANWO and then have everybody forcibly have a sexchange to the the genderless human and let pigs give birth on behalf of the MANWO so as not to burden any individual over the other and we can keep spiralling into an abyss of debauchery and debasement.It is unsuprising that SYRIZA doesn’t receive the journalistic scrutiny Golden Dawn does.   By the way i love the unbiased way the above journalist skeptically comments about the overwhelming Christian supporting statistics  “As many as 96 percent of Greeks HAVE REPORTEDLY SAID they are Orthodox believers”Dont cry victim Hellas if you keep voting for ungodly groups and individuals. As Pater Nikon says in the above link “vote once unwisely you are a victim, vote twice unwisely you are unlucky, vote thrice unwisely you are their accomplice.”

    May Christ warm your hearts and guide you to strength of soul, mind, body and community.

  • Adde

    Well, in the case of our Church, many peoples don’t practice it but say they are Orthodox Christians because they are Greeks. It’s not only a religion but a cultural thing, a way of life, Hellenic style.
    And so the Orthodox Religion is one of the aspects of our culture and it must be defended (especially if it’s to replace it with islam …).
    By the way, I’m not heavily religious myself, excepting for annual celebrations, marriages, ect … but I’m Orthodox because I’m Greek. It’s part of my identity as a Human.

  • leventi

    SYRIZANS are stoking the fire and trying to get a reaction.
     
     
     

  • Cypriot

    I’m talking about communism, not a specific party. You keep mentioning communism in your posts, but it’s not communism that supports illegal immigrants and FYROM. Don’t confuse communism with SYRIZA and KKE’s policies.

  • Alex

    Just because Syriza doesn’t officially call itself communism doesn’t mean it isn’t essentially a communist party. Most of its coaltion members are openly communist. Tsipiras himself is a communist. Syriza support illegals immigration and treasonously supports Skopians.

  • Cypriot

    Regardless, the point I’m making is that you shouldn’t confuse communism with a party’s ideologies.

  • Secular Humanist

    I am Greek but not Greek Orthodox. I am a secular humanist. I believe both the Church and SYRIZA is wrong. SYRIZA is right when it comes to church-state separation because Greece is one of the only countries in the world to have state religion except Iran. However, SYRIZA should not tax Greek Orthodox believers more than non-believers because then that it targeting the Church. The Church should not play a part in government role as a part of elitism. The Church should however not support certain extremist groups like Golden Dawn either. Except the Church should separate from state while still having freedom to practice.

  • Libertarian Greece

    The Greek Orthodox Church should be persecuted using the USA Federal RICO laws. The Greek Orthodox Church uses Golden Dawn as a proxy to spread their propaganda. The Greek Orthodox Church organizes crime which can be used as a RICO. I am Greek and I am not Orthodox. I am an atheist because religion causes wars like Greek-Turkish wars of 1919-1922. You people are racist and are evil. According to you anyone who is not Orthodox is not greek. Even though I am not a SYRIZA supporter I must say they are right about the separation of church and state. Every western democracy follows this principle. What is Greece then a theocracy? You people don’t know what you are saying. You are just spreading hate all over the world. You should stop with this non-sense.