Chapter 4: Greek Christian Orthodoxy and Entrepreneurship
Dimitri Tassiopoulos INTRODUCTION The Hellenic Republic (or more colloquially, Greece) is a constitutional republic and multiparty parliamentary democracy. Greece is a mountainous country in the south-eastern European Union, with a landmass of 132 100 square kilometres, which is bordered by various Balkan countries in the north and hemmed in by nearly 2000 islands on its eastern, southern and western borders. Traditionally, Greeks refer to themselves as ‘Hellenes’ and to the country as Hellas. It is further noted that the word ‘Greek’ comes from the Latin Graeci, and is a name given to the people of this region by the Romans (Jurgens, 2008). The Greek flag, continues Jurgens (2008), features a white cross in the left upper corner flanked on the right and bottom by alternating white and blue stripes. The white cross symbolizes the Greek Christian Orthodox religion, whilst the blue strips represent the sea and the sky, and the white stripes depict the valour and purity of the Greek struggle for independence. All in all, government, church and society ‘constitute’ a holy amalgamation. Greece: The Geography of its Religions Greece has an estimated population of 10.9 million. Approximately 98 per cent of citizens identify themselves, at least nominally, with the Greek Orthodox faith. There are also approximately 500 000 to 800 000 Old Calendarists throughout the country. With the exception of the Turcophone Muslim community (some of whose rights and privileges, as well as related government obligations, are covered by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne), the government does not...
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