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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE CUSTOM OF THE BURNING OF JUDAS IN THE WEBSITE OF THE GREEK TOURISM ORGANIZATION Print E-mail
Monday, 09 May 2016 09:44

KIS addressed a letter of protest to the Greek Tourism National Organization asking for the removal from the Organization’s website of a reference to the custom of the burning of an effigy of Judas (practiced during Christian Easter holidays), as a folkloristic attraction. On the issue KIS issued the following announcement:

Among the various traditions in Greece during the Easter holidays, the custom of the “burning of Judas” is still attested in many different areas on Holy Saturday. This custom perpetuates anti-Semitic feelings and it is characteristic that in other European countries it has almost vanished.

For our part, as the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, we have repeatedly turned to the authorities, demanding that, in our country too, this custom be abolished. It is worth to mention that, with its synodical circulars of the years 1891, 1910 and 1918, the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church has explicitly demanded that this custom be abolished.

Thus, we were greatly surprised when we found out that the anti-Semitic tradition of “the burning of Judas” is currently being displayed by the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) in its official website, which aims at promoting Greek culture and attracting foreign visitors. Moreover, the relevant article from the GNTO website was recently distributed in a newsletter by the Embassy of Greece in Washington, DC. We strongly believe that this custom does not only offend the Jewish community in Greece but also casts discredit on the Greek society as a whole.                                                    

For these reasons, we have written to the President of the GNTO, with further notification to the Deputy Minister of Tourism and the Greek Emabassy in Washington, asking for the immediate withdrawal of any material regarding this custom from the official website of the organization. 

Athens, May 6, 2016

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 

RELEVANT:

“Official Greek National Tourism Organization promotes antisemitic ritual”, May 3, 2016, Against Antismemitism blog.

 

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