NEWS

Greek police arrest man behind Facebook page satirizing 'mystical' priest

A 27-year-old man was arrested in the village of Psahna, Evia, on Monday on suspicion of being behind a Facebook page satirizing a dead Orthodox priest who some faithful believe had uncanny powers of perception.

The suspect, who was not named, is alleged to have maintained the page mocking Father or Elder (Geron) Paisios. The page was named Father Pastitsios after a traditional pasta-based dish.

The 27-year-old is being charged with blasphemy and insulting the late priest, who has become a cult figure among some Orthodox Christians over the past few months after allegedly foreseeing Greece?s economic crisis.

Police said that they made the arrest after ?thousands? of complaints about the page from various parts of the world reached the electronic crimes squad.

Critics, however, point out that the police took action a few days after far-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) raised the issue in Parliament.

The arrest was heavily criticized on Facebook and other social media as being an unacceptable case of censorship unbefitting a modern European country.

Opponents of the man?s arrest began a campaign on Twitter under the keyword #FreeGeronPastitsios.

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