Atheists protest listing of religion on education documents

Atheists protest listing of religion on education documents

The Atheists’ Union of Greece has lodged a complaint with the country’s privacy watchdog claiming that the Education Ministry’s demand that religious identity be listed in official documents is in breach of personal data protection laws.

In a complaint filed with the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (HDPA), the union protested the mandatory mention of individuals’ religious beliefs on graduation certificates, on the nationwide MySchool database, on university and technical college (TEI) student registers, and when applying for an opt-out from religious education courses at school.

“Religious or philosophical beliefs constitute personal data and as such should not be recorded and processed,” the union – which has around 1,000 members – said.

The union’s president, Fotis Frangopoulos, told Kathimerini that the HDPA in 2002 made a recommendation to the Education Ministry to remove religious status from school certificates.

“Nevertheless, the most recent ministerial decision of 2016 included [listing] religious affiliation in associated documentation,” he said.

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