Shortage of Grave Plots Revives Cremation Controversy in Greece



nekrotafeio_3The shortage of space in graveyards along with burial costs bring back the controversial issue of cremation in Greece.

At the moment, graveyards in Greece’s capital and second largest city, Thessaloniki, are overcrowded to the point where a burial is essentially leasing a grave plot for three years. After three years, relatives can pay to have the bones of the buried in communal storage called an ossuary.

Cremation would have been a solution to solve this increasing problem. However, the Greek Orthodox Church prohibits cremation as a violation of the human body. Priests are not allowed to conduct funeral ceremonies for deceased whose relatives ask for cremation.

Controversy has arisen in recent years with more and more Greeks espousing the idea of scattering the ashes of their loved ones in the place of their birth or in a place the deceased has asked. Also, with burial costs starting at 2,000-3,000 euros, cremation would have been a less costly solution. Yet, the Church of Greece is adamant that no cremation can take place on Greek soil. Thereby, there are no cremation facilities in Greece.

The prohibition of cremation and the absence of facilities, has forced a number of Greeks to travel abroad and have cremation services performed in neighboring countries, such as Bulgaria.

Lat year, and despite the church’s resistance, Mayor of Thessaloniki Yiannis Boutaris petitioned the environment ministry to change legislation regarding locations for building crematoria. The bill was amended making it possible for crematoria to be built outside graveyards. Boutaris has pledged that Thessaloniki will have a cremation facility by 2016.


14 COMMENTS

  1. Backward move…The Greek Orthodox faith is paramount to Greek culture. I am disappointed that Greeks continually move away from the tenets of the Orthodox faith.

  2. The Greek Orthodox Church is slowly losing influence in Greece it has kept Greece backwards but with the election of Alexis things will change

  3. Why not? We should have the option of either a traditional burial or cremation, people these days can’t afford to pay for a funeral especially when the cemeteries are overcrowded and churches these days do charge a fortune to buy a tiny space, don’t forget churches do make lots of money and they avoid paying taxes!

  4. I repeat, 97% of Greek citizens are baptised members of the Greek Orthodox Church who go on to baptise their own children into the Greek Orthodox Christian faith. Legally this makes 97% of Greek citizens, Orthodox Christians. If you are baptised into Greek Orthodoxy, if you get married in a Greek Orthodox Church, and if you go on to baptise your own children into the Greek Orthodox Church, as do 97% of Greek citizens, then you are Orthodox Christian.

  5. You write that “everyone” knows the Greek Church is very corrupt and is up to its eye’s in scandals.

    Really? Who is this “everyone” that you speak of? Is there a poll that you can refer us to which will help verify your statement or are you simply engaging in deliberate slander against the Greek Orthodox Church as a result of some personal hatred you have against the Church? Either provide some evidence of this “everyone” that you refer to or stop slandering the Greek Orthodox Church.

  6. Since you wish to bring up the past of Jews in Greece, lets dig a little deeper into this topic. While the Greek state passed a bill last year banning denial of the Jewish holocaust, no such actions have been taken by Israel to punish deniers of the Greek holocaust, let alone to even recognise the massacre of our people in their historical homeland of Asia Minor and Pontus

    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk led the young Turk movement which was responsible for the genocide of millions of Greek and Armenian Christians in Pontus and Asia Minor. The Young Turks were a political movement based in Thessaloniki, organised by Crypto-Jews known as Donmehs.(Google: “Dönmeh”) Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, like most other leading Donmeh Young Turks, has been described by Israeli authors as a Crypto-Jew. (Google the New York Sun article: “Ataturk’s Turkey Overturned”)

    When Sultan Murad II captured and sacked Thessaloniki in 1430, contemporary reports estimated that about one-fifth of the city’s population was enslaved. Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain by the 1493 Alhambra Decree, nearly 20,000 Sephardic Jews immigrated to Greece from Spain, settling primarily in Thessaloniki. By 1519, Sephardic Jews numbered 15,715, 54% of the city’s population. Some historians consider the Ottoman regime’s invitation to Jewish settlement was a strategy to prevent the ethnic Greek population (Eastern Orthodox Christians) from dominating the city. Jewish domination of Thessaloniki came to an abrupt end during WW2, due to action taken by SS officer Alois Brunner, and as a result indigenous Hellenes today form the majority of the population of the city founded by their ancestors.
    More recently, Rabbi Mordechai Frizis, formerly the Rabbi of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki, applauded the death of two young Greeks Constantinos Sgouros 26, and Yiannis Kommatis 25 who were murdered in August 2014 (Google: “Two men found dead in Kardamyli gorge”)
    and said that every Jew should feel joy when a supporter of Golden Dawn dies or is killed, not that there is a single shred of evidence, documentation, photos or anything else linking these men to Golden Dawn, and not that it would make Rabbi Mordechai Frizis statement any less evil if they were.
    You can watch Rabbi Mordechai Frizis applaud the murder of two young Greek citizens at this video from his You Tube channel titled: “Φονικό Mάνης: Για να ξεβρωμίσει ο τόπος”
    Despite this prominent member of the Jewish community of Greece applauding the murder of Greek citizens, not a single word of condemnation has been heard from the Zio-enslaved Greek political-media establishment.

  7. You wrote that Golden Dawn supporters are not Greek. How then do you explain that Golden Dawn is the 3rd most popular political party in Greece? Not very bright are you.

  8. How do you explain that Greek Jews, who can vote in Greek elections, are not Greek then?

    One can’t support hitler and be a Greek at the same time………

  9. many Jews fought on the Greek side and helped finance the Greek revolution.

    this obsession with Jews as the cause of all problems is ridiculous.

  10. Oh really? So you’ve seen these alleged memos? Can you scan and post an image of one of these memos, or at least tell us word for word what these memos say? If such memos existed they would’ve been splashed all over Greek TV and in the newspapers. You lie continuously.

    On the Greek reporter article titled: “Greek Anarchists Violently Interrupt Golden Dawn Trial, To Resume June 4” you went so far as to allege that the thugs who attempted to physically assault GD MPs & GD’s legal team might be GD supporters in disguise trying to delay the trial, when in fact the article clearly states that they were members of the Leftist Terrorist organization that calls itself “Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei.”

    What crazy conspiracy theories will you think of next?

    Perhaps the massacre of Palestinian men, women and children at DEIR YASSIN wasn’t perpetrated by Israeli forces at all, perhaps the grandfathers of today’s GD supporters donned Israeli army uniforms and massacred the Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin in order to blame the poor, innocent, inoffensive, sensitive, blameless, high-minded, talented, violin-playing Jews and create a wave of antisemitism. Or maybe it wasn’t Israeli mossad agents who attempted to bomb US civilian installations in Egypt during the infamous LAVON AFFAIR, in order to blame the Egyptians and drag the USA into a war against Egypt. Maybe that was somehow GD as well. Maybe the Israeli airforce didn’t bomb the USS liberty and strafe US sailors who were struggling to survive in liferafts, in order to blame the Egyptians.
    Maybe Hans-Ulrich Rudel and some Nazi accomplices stole some Israeli fighter jets and tried to sink the USS LIBERTY. Or maybe GD is responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs.

  11. You do realise that Jesus, Mary and the Apostles were Jews right? Most importantly you do realise that the god you worship, Yahweh, is a Jewish God?

  12. A small group of Jews? You are clueless! Jews have committed genocide against the Greek people throughout history. On the island of Cyrpus the Jews massacred 240,000 Greek men, women and children!

    In Cyprus a Jewish band under a leader named Artemion took control of the island, killing thousands of civilians. The Cypriot Jews participated in the great uprising against the Romans under Trajan, and are reported to have massacred 240,000 Greeks.  A small Roman army was dispatched to the island, soon reconquering the capital. After the revolt had been fully defeated, laws were created forbidding any Jews to live on the island.

  13. Throughout history Jewish supremacists felt such violent hatred towards Greeks that they even “cooked” the flesh of Greek people!

    Dio Cassius states of Jewish insurrectionaries:

    “Meanwhile the Jews in the region of Cyrene had put one Andreas at their head and were destroying both the Romans and the Greeks. They would cook their flesh, make belts for themselves of their entrails, anoint themselves with their blood, and wear their skins for clothing. Many they sawed in two, from the head downwards. Others they would give to wild beasts and force still others to fight as gladiators. In all, consequently, two hundred and twenty thousand perished. In Egypt, also, they performed many similar deeds, and in Cyprus under the leadership of Artemio. There, likewise, two hundred and forty thousand perished. For this reason no Jew may set foot in that land, but even if one of them is driven upon the island by force of the wind, he is put to death. Various persons took part in subduing these Jews, one being Lusius, who was sent by Trajan.”

    The 4th century Christian historian Paulus Orosius records that the violence so depopulated the province of Cyrenaica that new colonies had to be established by Hadrian:

    “The Jews … waged war on the inhabitants throughout Libya in the most savage fashion, and to such an extent was the country wasted that, its cultivators having been slain, its land would have remained utterly depopulated, had not the Emperor Hadrian gathered settlers from other places and sent them thither, for the inhabitants had been wiped out.”

  14. Even during the life of Jesus Christ, the forces of organized Jewry opposed the kindhearted teacher who spoke of the power of love and reconciliation, rather than of the militant anti-Roman measures hoped for by the Pharisees.

    The New Testament records faithfully the intense Jewish terror used to suppress the early Christian faith. In one of the Gospels’ most chilling verses it is written:

    “Howbeit that no man spake openly of him [Christ] for fear of the Jews.” (John 8:13)