The Square of Agia Eirini in the historical center of Athens is very popular, with hundreds of young and old visiting the numerous bars and restaurants each and every day. But every night, another small group of people enter the area: the homeless. the make themselves as comfortable as possible in the small marble courtyard of the impressive church in the middle of the square. They spread their blankets and cartons, maybe a sleeping bag on the cold marble floor or benches and fall asleep protected by rain and cold.
Now this is over. The priest allegedly got fed up with the homeless and ordered a high wooden fence to be installed around the Home of God.
Before and After the wooden fence
“The priest’s action has been criticized by the local businessmen, the owners of the bars and restaurants, with the majority of them providing the homeless with a meal,” notes news portal newsit.gr that brought up the story and adds:
“Also passersby are annoyed to see God’s house to have closed its doors to our needy fellowmen at a time when the number of homeless increases daily and mirroring the humanitarian crisis”
I don’t want to be mean and recall Sunday School’s teaching and Jesus’ quotes like “Love each other” and “When you have two albs you give one.”
I cannot even tell whether there is a clinch between the Church priest and the local businessmen.
At the very end, the priest can claim that there are restoration works (indicated by the green cloth and the erected scaffolding) going on and the fence was to protect the homeless from potential accidents.
PS there was always a feud between the cleric and the business locals around the church. The area revived economically with a lot of effort in the last 3 years and thus despite the economic crisis. So maybe the whole story is just that…