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Hinduism in Greece

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The following article is about contemporary followers of Hinduism in Greece. For information about the importance of Hinduism in Hellenistic Greece, see the article Indo-Greeks. For archeological evidence of Greek-born Hindus in the Hellenistic era, see Heliodorus pillar.

Hinduism in Greece has a small following. On March 1, 2006, the Greek government passed a law allowing cremation.[1] This law was welcomed by the Indian community in Athens.

Indians in Greece

There is a considerable Hindu and Sikh community in Athens. There are 25 PIOs and 12,000 NRIs in Greece [2]. Indians comprise 0.05% of the Greek population of 10 million. Till the 1970s, one route of entry was for Indian seamen jumping ship to slip into the country illegally. Following the deteriorating conditions in Lebanon, more than 2,000 Indians living there left for Greece and stayed on quietly after the expiry of their visas. On January 1, 1998, the Greek government granted a general amnesty to all illegal immigrants, thus legalizing the status of Indian immigrants also. Most Indians hold low to middle-level positions in shipping companies, banks and other companies. Some of them have their own businesses. Illegal Indian immigrants are working in agriculture, industry and shops or as domestic help. As permission of the Greek government is required for setting up any place of worship by foreigners, there are only make-shift gurudwaras in a few areas. Indians in Greece have no role in the country’s politics.[3]

Indian Organisations in Greece

Greek Indian Cultural and Welfare Association and Indo-Greek Business Foundation.[4] United Native Indian Community of Greece (UNICOG).

Hindu Organisations in Greece

ISKCON, Satyananda Yoga, Sahaja Yoga, Brahma Kumari and Sathya Sai Baba organizations exists in Greece.

Satyananda Yoga in Greece

Yoga is gaining popularity in Greece especially Satyananda Yoga and Sahaja Yoga. Satyananda Yoga was founded by Swami Satyananda. Swami Satyananda assigned Swami Sivamurti to carry the message of yoga to Greece. Through his inspiration and guidance, in 1978 Swami Sivamurti instituted Satyanandashram Hellas (beginning at Kalamata and then expanding to Athens, Thessaloniki and other parts of the Greek mainland and islands). The present Ashram of Satyanandashram Hellas was established in 1984 outside the town of Paiania and inaugurated by Swami Satyananda the following year.

ISKCON in Greece

ISKCON or Hare Krishnas has few devotees in Greece. In Greece, new members of the Krishna movement have been regularly subjected to overwhelming harassment by family, press, and government, making it almost impossible for them to practice their beliefs in Greece. ISKCON established Rupanuga Vedic College in Athens, Greece. The Rupanuga Vedic College is located at 20 Pinthou Street, Nea Filadelfia in Athens Greece (14342). ISKCON's Athens Preaching Center is located at 20 Pinthou Street, Nea Filadelfia.


  1. International Religious Freedom Report 2006, Greece
  2. Estimated Size of Overseas Indian Community: Country-Wise
  3. Indian Diaspora
  4. GICWA (Indo-Greek)

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