During an address in the town of Pyrgos, southern Greece, on Saturday, President Prokopis Pavlopoulous hailed the role of the Orthodox Church in the history of the Greek nation as decisive.
“Whoever – whether religious or not – looks at history objectively, is obligated to recognize the role of the Church,” he said, adding that this “role was and continues to be decisive for the course of our people and nation through history.”
His comments came amid a growing debate over the roles of the Church and state, as highlighted by the recent volatility in the relationship between the leftist-led government and religious authorities over issues such as school education.
The Church was also criticized by some quarters over its support for the “Macedonia” rally in Athens earlier this month.
However, religious authorities have countered that the Church must speak out about national issues.