ATHENS, GREECE, June 3, 2020 (Urdu Point): Greece’s influential church on Wednesday said it strongly frowned upon the use of yoga to combat quarantine stress, calling it “absolutely incompatible” with Christian faith. The Orthodox Church is one of the most powerful institutions in Greece, with influence in politics and justice, and actively tries to avert perceived proselytizing by other religions. “Yoga is absolutely incompatible with our Orthodox faith and has no place in the life of Christians,” the Holy Synod, governing body of the Church of Greece said in a statement.
“It is a fundamental chapter in Hindu religion. ..it is not a ‘kind of physical exercise’,” the synod said, adding that it had decided to intervene after “various news media” recommended yoga as a means to “combat stress” during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far the country has come out relatively well compared to other EU states, with fewer than 180 deaths in a population of 11 million. The church sparked criticism early in the pandemic by insisting that the coronavirus does not spread via Holy Communion.