- It has taken almost 2,000 years, but
those who worship the 12 gods of ancient Greece have finally triumphed.
An Athens court has ordered that the adulation of Zeus, Hera, Hermes, Athena
and co is to be unbanned, paving the way for a comeback of pagans on Mount
- The followers, who say they "defend
the genuine traditions, religion and ethos" of the ancients by adhering
to a pre-Christian polytheistic culture, are poised to take their battle
to the temples of Greece.
- "What we want, now, is for the government
to fully recognise our religion," Vasillis Tsantilas told the Guardian.
"We will petition the Greek parliament, and the EU if that fails,
for access to worship in places like the Acropolis, for permission to have
our own cemeteries and, where necessary, to re-bury the [ancient] bones
of the dead.
- About 98% of Greeks are Orthodox Christian,
and all other religions except Judaism and Islam had been banned.
- Yet the pagans say as many as 2,000 Greeks
have signed up to their movement. Mr Tsantilas, 42, a computer scientist
who came to paganism after toying with Buddhism, Taoism and Islam, said
worshippers perceived the ancient gods as the "personification of
- But Greece's powerful Orthodox Church
takes a less charitable view, accusing the worshippers of idolatry and
"poisonous New Age practices".
- Father Eustathios Kollas, who presides
over the community of Greek priests, said: "They are a handful of
miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion who wish to return
to the monstrous dark delusions of the past."