You may be surprised to learn, as I was, that it is incredibly difficult to build Christian churches in Greece if they are outside of the Greek Orthodox church. Some missionaries in Greece are optimistic about a new law under consideration that could give legal status to other Christian churches.
Persecution isn’t limited to totalitarian regimes or Islamic states. Some Western democracies also make it difficult for Christians, especially evangelicals, to practice their faith openly. In Greece, evangelicals face constant harassment, including fines and jail time, and cannot build their own churches. But some missionaries say a new law could be a “big step forward” for evangelical Christians in the country.
Greek laws favor the Greek Orthodox Church and place restrictions on other religious groups, including the 0.4 percent of the population made up of evangelical Christians. Proselytizing is illegal and breaking that law can result in fines or even a prison sentence, in rare cases. More often the restrictions are used to harass Christians but do not result in formal charges, according to Tasos Ioannidis, president and CEO of AMG International, an evangelical missions agency.
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