Court acquits 25 who stormed church service

Court acquits 25 who stormed church service

A court in Thessaloniki on Friday acquitted 25 individuals accused of barging into and disrupting a Sunday service at the northern port city’s Aghios Grigorios Palamas Church last summer.

The stunt was carried out to protest an operation by authorities to evacuate the Megas Alexandros orphanage, which had been under occupation by anti-establishment groups who were sheltering migrants and refugees.

The court ruled on an appeal against an earlier acquittal of the 25.

The prosecutor that recommended their acquittal said it was not clear who among them had entered the church, while there was not enough evidence to substantiate the claim made in the lawsuit filed against them, that they intended to show disrespect to religious sentiment.

The defendants themselves said that their symbolic actions were guided by their solidarity with refugees and against the evacuation of the orphanage, and not by any feelings of disrespect to religious beliefs. 

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