Greek Orthodox Church Urges Christians to Unite over Crucifix Ban
The Greek Orthodox Church is urging Christians across Europe to unite in an appeal against a ban on crucifixes in classrooms in Italy.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled last week that the presence of crucifixes violated a child's right to freedom of religion.
Greece's Orthodox Church fears the Italian case will set a precedent, the BBC reported.
It has called an emergency Holy Synod meeting for next week to devise an action plan.
Although the Greek Orthodox Church has been at odds with Roman Catholicism for 1 000 years, the judicial threat to Christian symbols has acted as a unifying force.
The European Court of Human Rights found that the compulsory display of crucifixes violated parents' rights to educate their children as they saw fit and restricted the right of children to believe or not to believe.
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There is already a precedent case. The German Supreme Court ruled in favor of a family complaining that seeing Christ hanging on the wall of their daughter's classroom caused her discomfort.
Personally, I'm in favor of separaton of church and state. But this is untested waters. Nobody complains about Catholics wearing crosses, nor Jews wearing stars of David, but there's a furore about muslim women wearing the head scarf.