Holding Greek flags,crosses, icons and banners reading “Freedon needs virtue and courage” protesters of the new identity cards (IDs) gathered in front of Alexander the Great statue in the promenade of Thessaloniki early Sunday evening.
Among the 220-people estimated crowd were also members of the cleric. Speeches of the former Archbishop of Athens, Christodoulos, who opposed the removal of religion back in the 1990’s, were transmitted via loudspeakers, while the crowd occasionally chanted prayers and religious hymns.
“It’s about our religion and homeland,” one of the protesters told Alpha TV.
The protest call was made via social media by organizations that had also played a leading role is protests against the anti-Covid vaccines protests, local media seleo.gr reported.
The new IDs have caused a wave of reactions from a section of believers, who describ them as “electronic slavery.” They claim that the IDs will contain all their personal data on an electronic chip, while they fear that the chip will allow their “geo-location.”
As many religious organizations have raised their opjectins to the new IDs claiming “invasion of the anti-Christ,” the Church of Greece has said it will issue an opinion on the new identity cards in upcoming week, following a decision by the Holy Synod.
Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens has called for “judiciousness and prudence” on an issue that has energized conspiracy theorists among the faithful, including some bishops, and which has already led to protest rallies and plans for more.
The machine-readable new identity cards will be issued starting September 25. The current type of identity cards will no longer be valid after August 3, 2026.