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Elder Pastitsios satire: Greek blogger sentenced to 10-month prison for insulting religion

An Athens court sentenced blogger Filippos Loizos to ten months prison suspended for 3 years, after found him guilty of “insulting religion”. The blogger was known as Elder Pastitsios,  who was making fun of the almost mythical monk Elder Paisios.

Philippos Loizos, 27, was arrested in September 2012 on charges of “malicious blasphemy and insulting  religion” through Facebook. The arrest came “after thousands of e-complains from residents of different countries of the world”, so the police press release. The 27-year-old had created a page on Facebook named “Geron Pastitsios” (Elder Pastitsios), an mock name for Greek Athos monk, Elder Paisios (1924-1994), famous about his prophecies on Greece, the Greek nation and the Orthodox Christianity.

Pastitsio is a Greek dish with pasta, minced meat and bechamel sauce.

The arrest triggered an outcry on internet and thousands of people speak of unprecedented censorship and blame Samaras’ government for complying with the demands of extreme-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn).

On twitter there has been talks that ”Geron Pastitsios trolled Greek nationalist blogs, planting hoax accounts of ‘miracles’ which they reproduced without questioning”.

According to news portal NewsIt, last Tuesday (Sept 18), GD posed a question at the Parliament complaining about the Facebook page where the administrator insults, mocks and tries to humiliate the sacred figure of  Greek Orthodoxy, Elder Paisios”.

As thousands protest against this censorship on the internet, the hashtag #FreeGeronPastitsios became a world trending. A petition was created asking the Greek parliament to immediately release the man and abolish anti-blasphemy laws in Greece.

After the sentence became known many internet users complain about the censorship and some even compare Greece with Iran.

PS “rumors that an international warrant has been issued against Monty Python and the Life of Brian are not confirmed” (stolen from @YBoyio on Twitter)


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  1. It is interesting that in a country mostly made up of greeks that never go to church or believe in the religion they were born into and a government that is socialist they chose to use an outdated and medieval law to prosecute free speech.Is greece going to condone stoning for adultery next.

    • the government is conservative since June 2012 and there is no separation between state & church.

  2. Unlike Christians, we atheists need no laws to protect our feelings.

    That is because we are not pathetic crybabies.

    But I can understand the psychological and mental weakness of those who do need such laws.

    • they do indeed need laws because they’ve been educated within a system of strict laws (religious) to guide them through their lives.

  3. How embarrassing for the land of my parents. I never thought I’d have more religious freedom in my small Bible Belt town than in a supposedly modern member of the European Union. Of all the crap Greece has gone through recently, this has to be one of the most embarrassing, and one of the few that can be blamed entirely on the Greeks and nobody else. For shame!

  4. Jeez thats… simply evil.
    Filing Greece under the category of dangerous backwards countries together with North Korea and Iran. Should be kicked clear out of EU. Threaten them with war if they don’t pay everything back in ten years.