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Greek authority rules against recording of faith at school

September 4, 2019

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s independent privacy authority has ruled it unconstitutional and illegal for school authorities to keep records of pupils’ religious faith.

The non-binding decision by the Data Protection Authority made public Wednesday follows complaints by an atheist group and human rights activists.

The complaints had targeted the listing of schoolchildren’s faith on end-of-school certificates, on an internal Education Ministry portal and on declarations non-Greek Orthodox parents must sign to exempt their children from otherwise obligatory religious education classes.

Although the government is not obliged to implement the decision, failure to do so could prompt legal action by citizens or rights groups.

Greece stopped the listing of religious faith on state identity cards in 2000, despite strong opposition from the powerful Orthodox Church of Greece.

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