Church Versus State

The Greek Parliament last month adopted legislation enabling the government to take over huge estates held by the Greek Orthodox Church.

The law will allow Greece’s Socialist government to strip nearly all of the church’s monasteries and convents of some 370,000 acres of forest and agricultural land. The government would transfer the land, valued at $192 million, to agricultural cooperatives. In addition, the law gives nonclerics control of church councils and committees responsible for the administration of such church investments as hotels and marble quarries.

Leaders in the Greek Orthodox Church vowed to fight the legislation, with bishops saying they would boycott any reorganized church administrative committees. Priests joined more than 50,000 demonstrators outside Parliament, waving crucifixes and chanting, “Hands off the church.” Meanwhile, World Council of Churches general secretary Emilio Castro called on the Greek government to suspend the legislation.


No Glasnost To Homosexuals

A Communist party youth league newspaper reports homosexuality is on the increase in the Soviet Union. The newspaper, Moskovsky Komsomolets, gave no estimate of the number of homosexuals in the USSR.

The article about homosexuality is unusual for an official Soviet publication. The Associated Press said the report could be an example of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost, or openness, concerning social problems.

The article says homosexuality should continue to be treated as a crime and that law enforcement agencies should be more diligent in patroling areas where homosexuals gather. The newspaper said homosexuality can be eradicated with proper education and ...

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