New Temples, Old Stones?

The Greek Pagan group Ellinais, who were recently granted official recognition by the court system in Greece, is now attempting to obtain permission to perform rites at ancient pre-Christian sites.

“Worshippers of the 12 gods of Mount Olympus are planning to ask the government to allow them to practice their faith at ancient sites like the Acropolis, sources told Sunday’s Kathimerini. The followers of this minority faith have been buoyed by a court ruling in February that allowed the existence of an association, known as Ellinais, whose members claim to worship Zeus and the other 11 gods. Ellinais was formed last October by 23 Greeks but in its annual report on religious freedom, the US State Department estimates that some 2,000 people worship the 12 ancient gods in Greece. Sources said Ellinais will seek permission from the Culture Ministry to establish places of worship and to be allowed to worship at ancient temples such as the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion.”

It remains to be seen if being allowed to (legally) exist will translate into access to holy sites. David Meadows at Rogue Classicism suspects it will depend on if there are sacrifices performed. It should be interesting to see how this will develop in the near future, and what the ramifications will be. Will legalized Paganism bring forward a new sort of “religious tourism” at sites like the Acropolis? Will this new tolerance see an explosion of interest in native Greek Paganism?

Related posts:
3.25.2006 Greeks Free To Worship The Old Gods