Greece’s top administrative court, Council of State, has ruled that only non-Orthodox Christian pupils can be exempt from religious education.
According to Ekathimerini, exemption procedure established by an Education Ministry decision in 2022 is deemed to be in accordance with the Greek Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
The ruling by the Council of State resolves the pending cases that emerged from applications for annulment filed by parents of students and the Union of Atheists. These cases were in response to the ministerial decision that mandated the submission of an application for exemption from religious studies for non-Orthodox secondary school students.
The court clarified that the contested decision regarding the exemption procedure does not violate the provisions of the Greek Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) concerning religious freedom. The exemption application is considered a request to be excused from the obligation, as mandated by the Constitution and the law, to attend religion courses.
This ruling brings clarity to the exemption process for non-Orthodox Christian students in Greece and ensures that their rights to religious freedom are upheld within the education system.