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Greece - Constitution

Adopted on: 11 June 1975 (Document Status: 1986)

Article 3 [Relations of Church and State] 

(1) The prevailing religion in Greece is that of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ. The Orthodox Church of Greece acknowledging as its head Our Lord Jesus Christ is indissolubly united in doctrine with the Great Church of Constantinople and every other Church of Christ of the same doctrine. It observes steadfastly, as they do, the holy apostolic and synodical canons and the holy tradition. It is autocephalous, exercising its sovereign rights independently of any other church, and is administered by the Holy Synod of Bishops and the Parliament Holy Synod which emanates from the former and is constituted in accordance with the Constitutional Chart of the Church and the provisions of the Patriarchal Document of 29 June 1850 and the Synodal Deed of 4 September 1928. 
(2) The religious status prevailing in certain parts of the State is not contrary to the provisions of the aforegoing paragraph.
(3) The text of the Holy Scriptures shall be maintained unaltered. The official translation thereof into any other linguistic form, without the sanction of the Autocephalous Church of Greece and the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople, is prohibited.
Article 5 [Freedom, Integrity] 
(2) All persons within the Greek State enjoy full protection of their life, honor, and freedom, irrespective of nationality, race, creed, or political allegiance. Exceptions shall be permitted in such cases as are provided for by international law. Aliens persecuted for acts carried out in defence of their freedom shall not be extradited.
Article 13 [Religion] 
(1) The freedom of religious conscience is inviolable. The enjoyment of civil and individual rights does not depend on the religious conviction of each individual. 
(2) Every known religion is free and the forms of worship thereof shall be practiced without any hindrance by the State and under protection of the law. The exercise of worship shall not contravene public order or offend morals. Proselytizing is prohibited. 
(3) The ministers of all religions are subject to the same obligations towards the State and to the same state supervision as the ministers of the established religion. 
(4) No person shall, by reason of his religious convictions, be exempt from discharging his obligations to the State, or refuse to comply with the laws. 
(5) No oath shall be imposed without a law specifying the form thereof.
Article 14 [Freedom of Expression and Press] 
(3) The seizure of newspapers and other printed matter, either before or after circulation, is prohibited. By exception, seizure after publication is permitted upon instruction by the Public Prosecutor because of: 
a) insult to the Christian and all other known religions, 
b) insult to the person of the President of the Republic, 
c) a publication which discloses information relating to the composition, armament, and disposition of the armed forces or the fortifications of the country, or aims at violently overthrowing the political system or is directed against the territorial integrity of the State, 
d) obscene publications which manifestly offend public decency, in the cases specified by law.
Article 16 [Education] 
(2) Education constitutes a fundamental state objective and aims at the moral, intellectual, professional, and physical instruction of the Greeks, the development of national and religious consciousness, and the formation of free and responsible citizens.
Article 59 [Oath] 
(1) Before entering upon their duties the deputies shall take the following oath in the House of Parliament in public session: "I swear in the name of the Holy, Consubstantial, and Indivisible Trinity to be loyal to the Motherland and the democratic form of government, obey the Constitution and the laws and discharge my duties conscientiously." 
(2) Deputies of other religions or dogmas shall give the same oath in the manner of their own religion or dogma.
Note: Further information on the constitutional background of Greece is provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Wuerzburg. 
 


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