Developments in Greece during the past year suggest a hardening of attitudes toward non-Orthodox Christians. An evangelical publisher was prosecuted for sending by mail copies of the New Testament in modern Greek and evangelistic tracts. Although the material had been sent at the request of high school students, the publisher received a jail sentence—later suspended for three years because of a previous clean record.
During the trial it was revealed that Greek Orthodox clergymen and lay teachers of Orthodox religion in schools had ordered those who received copies of the New Testament to burn them. “It is heresy,” they alleged, “to publish that a person may be saved through faith in Jesus Christ.” According to a high school principal presented as a prosecution witness, “only in the Greek Orthodox Church can one find salvation.” On the other hand, while the trial was proceeding, a Cretan priest bought from the Bible society two hundred copies of the New Testament in modern Greek, distributed them to parishioners, and visited them in their homes.
The Ministry of Social Services refused to grant a permit last summer for a long-established children’s camp at Sounion, under the auspices of the Free Evangelical Church. No clear reason was given, though there was some suggestion of an alleged attempt to proselytize children in the town of Trikkala, where an assembly of Free Evangelicals had been closed by the authorities. No attempt was made, however, to hinder other groups, and the Greek Evangelical Church, the Pentecostals, and others were granted the customary permits.
Both the divinity school and the philosophical school of Athens University have refused to admit as doctoral candidate a Greek Evangelical student who is a B.D. ...1
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