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Greek Church: No funerals for cremated members

October 31, 2014

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s Orthodox Church has instructed its priests not to conduct funeral services for members of the church who plan to be cremated in violation of church tradition, an angry response to recent legislation that makes it easier for Greeks to choose cremation over burial.

Greece currently has no cremation facilities although the practice was legalized years ago. Parliament this year gave governments the authority to approve crematoriums, and the City of Athens has promised to license one in the next two years.

The church’s governing Holy Synod on Friday said the law was part of effort to “remove faith from every aspect of life.”

The Orthodox Church, which represents about 98 percent of country’s population, considers cremation as being disrespectful to the body.

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