NEWS

Call for a less visible mosque

The Church of Greece yesterday voiced strong objections to government plans to allow the construction of a mosque in Paeania, on the eastern outskirts of Athens, saying the location would allow Muslims undue prominence. While not rejecting the idea of the mosque, which is intended to cater to the thousands of Muslim immigrants living in Athens, the Church’s governing body – the Holy Synod – said the building should be built discreetly out of the way. Holy Synod members said the mosque should be built in an area where it will not «injure Greeks’ religious feelings,» adding that Paeania, on the way to Athens Airport, is directly in sight of foreign visitors who will think «Greece is a Muslim country.» The Synod also expressed horror at the prospect of the mosque complex including a religious seminary. On a different front, the Holy Synod decided to ask the government to revoke the designation as forestland of a 350-hectare stretch of Church land in Kareas, in eastern Athens, to allow construction of a new headquarters for the Synod.