The traditions of orthodoxy, steeped in Byzantine art, culture, iconography, hagiography and scripture, can all be appreciated by the staunchly religious, socially secular or firm unbelievers among us. Most churches and monasteries here are at least a couple of hundred years old to a thousand years old, and have stood the test of time through revolution, war, conversions and invasions. Yet the Greek orthodox faith survived and flourished, and to a lesser extend so did Catholicism with its beautiful churches, particularly in the Cyclades. You'll even find a few protestant churches thrown in for good measure.

Village and town life in Greece has always revolved around the church, which has played a major role in educating people clandestinely in the past, harbouring them against enemies during the war of independence and the second world war, and above all giving them faith and strength.

Last but not least, there is also a smattering of synagogues and mosques in the country, even if they are not all in operation, attesting to the East-meets-West history and character of Greece.


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