Greek Orthodox Priests appeal to Supreme Court against new RFID-chip IDs

19 June 2018
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Four priests and two lawyers have appealed to Greece’s supreme administrative court, the Council of State (CoS), for the scrapping of the new electronic ID cards, arguing the cards are anti-Constitutional and are contrary to international and European conventions. They claim that the RFID chips embedded in the cards would allow the constant detection of every citizen, regardless of their location.

One Archimandrite and three priests, the “Center of Patristic Studies” and two attorneys demanded the annulment of the Joint Ministerial Decision of 27 April 2018, which provides for the issuance of a new type of police identities, which will include an RFID chip that will define personal data and private details of the individual. Greeks will be compelled to replace their current ID cards with the new ones within the next 5 years. The five citizens appealing against the implementation of the IDs claim they violate the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
They underline that the information stored in the “RFID chip”, without the consent of the citizens, is personal data related to the person of each citizen, while each transaction made is stored and monitored by public or private services.

At the same time, they argue the new IDs flagrantly violate the religious conscience and faith of Orthodox Christians in violation of the Constitution and of international law, as the principles and beliefs of a religion are affected without this being necessary for the protection of public order and security.
In their reasoning, the plaintiffs add some hermeneutical prophetic texts by Mount Athos Saint Paisios called “The signs of the times”, which had prophesied Christians would be constantly monitored and unable to buy or sell without their IDs. About 3 million Orthodox Christians in Greece had signed a petition in the past expressing their opposition to the use of the electronic identity cards.

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