Prevailing religion of Greece
Greek Orthodoxy is the prevailing religion of Greece, emphasised by displays of the Greek flag and national emblem.
Adherence to the
Orthodox Church was established as a definitive hallmark of Greek ethnic identity already in the first modern Greek constitution, the "
Epidaurus Law" of 1822, during the
Greek War of Independence. The
preamble of all successive Greek constitutions simply states "In the name of the Holy, Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity", and the Orthodox Church of Christ is established as the "prevailing" religion of Greece.
Mainstream Orthodox clergy's salaries and pensions are paid for by the State at rates comparable to those of teachers. The Church had previously compensated the State by a tax of 35% on ordinary revenues of the Church, but Law 3220/2004 in 2004 abolished this tax. By virtue of its status as the prevailing religion, the
canon law of the Church is recognized by the Greek government in matters pertaining to church administration. This is governed by the "Constitution of the Church of Greece", which has been voted by Parliament into law. Religious marriages and baptisms are legally equivalent to their civil counterparts and the relevant certificates are issued by officiating clergy. All Greek Orthodox students in primary and secondary schools in Greece attend religious instruction. Liaisons between church and state are handled by the
Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs.