Faith struck off school diplomas

Over two years after ruling that religious faith should not be mentioned on Greeks’ identity cards – which sparked a bitter row between Church and State – Greece’s privacy watchdog has issued another decision expected to arouse the clergy’s ire. The Authority for the Protection of Personal Data has written to the Ministry of Education requesting that religious faith should be removed from schoolchildren’s particulars mentioned on primary and secondary graduation certificates. Furthermore, the authority, which is headed by former Supreme Court Judge Constantinos Dafermos, informed the ministry that students’ parents who do not want their children to attend religious education courses are not obliged to state that this is so because they are atheists or subscribe to religions other than Greek Orthodox Christianity. The decision, made public yesterday, drew no immediate comment from the Church of Greece – which organized mass rallies and a plebiscite on the ID question – or the Ministry of Education. But six Socialist MPs tabled a question in Parliament to ask if the ministry would adopt the «despicable decision.»

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