Joint statement from “Friends of Hypathia” (member of IAFT) and the European Coordination Bureau of Freethought

The wealth of the Greek Christian Orthodox Church belongs to the Greeks and not to their creditors. Similar to the French revolutionaries of 1789 who nationalised the Church property, the people of Greece is allowed to consider the Church’s wealth as its own, since it was built on the sweat of the Greek.

The Greek Parliament allowed on July 22nd the 2nd part of the plan imposed by the Troika. This plan imposes privatisations, the dismantling of public services, health services and labour laws, an accelerating rate of seizure orders and expulsions and a decreased purchasing power. All of this supposedly meant to “pay off a debt” that has actually already been repaid over in interest.

The lack of help from the Greek Church has already been discussed. Apparently, clergy would contribute to charities and soup kitchens. This is at best a nice little joke when we take into account the wealth of Church of Greece, with its many ramifications and many faces, is likely to exceed the amount of alleged debt.

One easy thing to check: companies and institutions of the Orthodox Church would own government bounds at 6% rate which represent 40% of the amount asked by the Troika. All the while, priests keep being paid on the State budget.

The law must seize the unfair enrichment due to these bounds, so it could save millions of lives and jobs and balance the pension system. Moreover, it would contribute to revitalise the economy.

The European Coordination Bureau of Freethought and the Greek freethinkers support the following measures:

  • Shedding light on the wealth of the Christian Orthodox Church and monasteries through a national commission of inquiry.
  • Legally taking over the unfair wealth of Church and redistributing it for the need of the people and public services.
  • The Greek Orthodox Church has to cover the salaries of the clergy as well as care plan and pension system, maintenance costs of churches and payment of the taxes.