Religion class exemption application ‘constitutional’

Religion class exemption application ‘constitutional’

The Council of State, Greece’s top administrative court, has ruled that only non-Orthodox Christian pupils can be exempted from religious education.

The ruling says the exemption procedure established by an Education Ministry decision in 2022 is in line with the Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

The ruling puts an end to pending cases that had arisen after the applications for annulment filed by parents of pupils and the Union of Atheists against the relevant ministerial decision which required the submission of an application for the exemption of non-Orthodox secondary school pupils from religious studies.

The court said the contested decision does not contradict the provisions of the Constitution and the ECHR on religious freedom, as the application is for the exemption from the obligation imposed by the Constitution and the law to attend the religion courses.

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