The head of the Church of Greece lamented the demise of the traditional neighborhood small shop during a sermon yesterday in which he also extolled the advantages of living in a country where nearly all the population is Christian Orthodox. Speaking in the industrial area of Aspropyrgos, on the western outskirts of Athens, Archbishop Christodoulos said old-fashioned businesses such as bakers, greengrocers and shoemakers have been edged out of business. «Now, everything is on sale in department stores,» he said. «It used to be only abroad that we would have watermelons sold by the slice – instead of by the kilo – and tomatoes sold individually wrapped in cellophane,» the Church leader added. Christodoulos said there might still be hope for a shoemakers’ revival, «as many people lack the money to buy new shoes and will have to get their old pairs re-soled.» He also expressed shock at the fact that many Europeans have children without getting married, and do not baptize their offspring. «We are 97 percent Christian Orthodox, and in that sense we are privileged,» he remarked.