Tuesday, September 25, 2012
20:28, Tuesday September 25, 2012
A man has been charged with blasphemy in Greece for lampooning a monk on Facebook.
allege the unnamed 27-year-old set up a Facebook page referring to the
late Elder Paisios by the mocking name Geron Pastitsios, which is a
Greek pasta and beef dish.
In a screenshot of the Facebook page,
which has now been removed from the social network, the monk is shown
with a plate of pastitsios in front of him.
The suspect was
arrested on the island of Evia at the weekend after complaints were
received by the Greek police's cyber crime bureau.
confiscated the man's laptop and 'determined that he was indeed the
person who created and managed' the page, according to a police news
It said the page contained 'blasphemy and insults against Elder Paisios and Orthodox Christianity' in general.
He could face a fine of up to 3,000 euro (2,390) or two years in prison under Greece's strict blasphemy laws.
The arrest sparked outrage across the internet, and the hashtag #FreeGeronPastitios trended for several hours.
petition addressed to the Greek parliament demanding the abolition of
anti-blasphemy laws in the country already has more than 6,000
'Remind me again, which country gave rise to (ancient
Greek satirist) Aristophanes?' one user posted on Twitter, while others
compared Greece to Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Paisios lived in the monastic enclave of Mount Athos in northern Greece and died in 1994 aged 70.
He has a large cult following in the country attributed to his alleged prophetic powers and teachings.
use of pasta wordplay on the Facebook page led some Twitters users to
suggest the author could be linked to a parody religion known as
Also known as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti
Monster, the movement was founded in the United States and opposes many
aspects of organised religion.
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