September 29, 2015
Education Minister Nikos Filis and Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece met on Tuesday to discuss the controversy created over the exemption from religious education of non-Christian Orthodox students.
The meeting came after Alternate Education Minister Sia Anagnostopoulou stated that procedures for exemption of students from religious education must be simplified and expedited.
Filis said there is an understanding between the two sides, while Ieronymos talked about cooperation.
“There is an understanding. There will not be any unilateral actions. We believe that we can achieve reform on religious education,” Filis said.
“We are at a period where religion plays a significant role--good and ethical in our case. But in other cases it leads to hate and war, as we see in our perimeter. Thereby, we are obligated to see what religious education means in today’s reality, always with respect to religious freedom and individual conscience,” he added.
The Archbishop said that Church and State must be in close cooperation for mutually beneficial results “without stubbornness and obsessions.”