Banal, Benign or Pernicious? Religion and National Identity from the Perspective of Religious Minorities in Greece

Effie Fokas

New Diversities, 2015, Vol. 17, No. 1, 47-62

Intersections between religion and law are increasingly permeating the public sphere. From burqa bans to same-sex marriage, a strong relationship between religion and national identity (whether ‘negative’, as in the French case, or ‘positive’ as in the Greek case), can often be found as a central factor therein. Based on empirical research conducted on pluralism and religious freedom in Greece and other majority Orthodox countries, this article seeks to locate the religion-national identity link within the grey area at the intersection between religion and law. The voices of religious minority groups illustrate the blurred lines between the benign and the pernicious in banal manifestations of the religion-national identity link in the Greek context. Against the backdrop of the Greek example, the article then navigates through normative debates about whether and how limitations to the freedoms of religious minorities, in cases where these limitations are linked to the relationship between religion and national identity, can be effectively redressed.

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Balancing the autonomy of religious institutions with the right to a private and family life? A commentary on Fernández Martínez v. Spain

Panagiota Emmanouilidou

ELIAMEP Briefing Notes, 2014, No. 32

On 12 June 2014, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter the ECtHR or the Court) delivered its final and long-awaited judgment in Fernández Martínez v. Spain. The case concerns the non-renewal of the contract of a religion teacher by the Spanish State, because his personal status, as a married priest, was considered incompatible with the principles of the Catholic Church. Released a few days before another ECtHR judgment on a controversial religion issue, the French burqa ban, the present case raises important questions regarding the balance between two fundamental rights, the right to autonomy of religious institutions and the right to a private and family life of an individual.

Download: Emmanouilidou – ELIAMEP 2014

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