A. THE COUNTRY
The Hellenic Republic is the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula
in southeast Europe and 150 inhabited islands. Greece is a republic
with a parliamentary democracy. Greece and Turkey’s relations, while
still delicate, continue to improve after centuries of hostility.
Large-scale immigration from the Balkans and Middle East/Asia is
unsettling the ethnic/religious status quo. The crisis of the Euro
dollar, Greece’s massive deficit and debt, and the government’s 2011
austerity program is shaking up the country. Protests and riots are
increasingly common and frequently violent. Tourism, agricultural
products and industry are all important to the economy. Greece has the
largest fleet of merchant ships in the European Union.
B. THE PEOPLE
The population is ~11,184,000 and the official language Greek. There
are nearly 7 million of Greek background in 108 countries of the world.
Rapid and largely undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers mean that
all numbers are estimates.
~85.9% are Greek, ~8.5% Other European peoples, ~5.4% Others.
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
Historically protected by the state, the Orthodox Church is deeply
linked to Greek identity. Rapidly increasing minority faiths (mostly
through immigration) and corruption scandals in the Orthodox Church have
loosened its grip as many call for a separation of church and state.
~91.46% claim to be Christian (now mostly a cultural expression), ~5.8%
Muslim, ~2.7% Non-religious, ~0.02% Ethnoreligionist, ~0.02% Jewish.
While Muslims and Jews enjoy official recognition, Catholics and
Protestants often face difficulties in getting the same recognition.
In the Christian category:
~91.84% are Orthodox, ~1.48% Catholic, ~0.36% Protestant, ~0.05%
Independent, ~0.03% Anglican.
Evangelicals represent ~0.4% of the population.
Charismatics represent ~0.3% and of those ~0.2% are Pentecostals.
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.