Greece Culture and Religion

According to, Greece has been a member of the European Union since 1981 and is part of the Eurozone since 2001, in addition to having NATO membership since 2005. At present, the nation has experienced moments of tension since 2010 when a debt crisis [2] [3] broke out in the country, which plunged it into a serious recession [4] .


The culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years, with its beginnings in the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations continuing with the most remarkable classical Greece, the birth of the Hellenistic age and through the influence of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in eastern Greece. The Ottoman Empire also had a considerable influence on Greek culture, but it is the Greek war of independence that revitalizes Greece and fosters the birth of an individual identity within its multifaceted culture throughout its history.

The art and architecture of ancient Greece had a great influence on Western art to the present day. The Byzantine art and Byzantine architecture also played an important role in the beginnings of the Christianity, and is a significant influence on the nations Christian Orthodox Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Until now, due to the ravages of history, only a small variety of ancient Greek art has survived – mostly sculpture and architecture and minor arts, including coin design, pottery, and gemstone engraving. Greece also has, since the revolution, a specific weight in the history of contemporary art.

Pottery and coins

Ancient Greece was also reputed for its pottery, which included both shapes of drinking glasses and urns. Black-figure pottery, in whose decorations black silhouettes appear on a red background, are very representative of early Greek crafts. Later forms include red-figure pottery and white-ground pottery.

The Greeks did not regard coin design as a main form of art proper. However, the durability and abundance of the coins they designed is one of the most important sources of knowledge about Greek aesthetics. Coins were invented in Lydiaduring the 7th century BC. C., but it was the Greeks who used them widely, and who established a canon of monetal design that has been followed ever since.

This art form is of particular importance in the study of the Byzantine period. Greek coins were mainly bronze.


The first movie theater first appeared in Greece in 1897, and the first theater was built in 1907. The first production is from 1914 when the Asty Film company was founded and feature films began to be produced. Golfo (Γκόλφω), a well-known and traditional love story, was the first feature film, although there were several minor productions before, such as newsreels.

Greek cinema has had a troubled history, from moments of relative stagnation to highly memorable productions. From the 1920s to the late 1940s there were some quite remarkable films, such as Έρως και κύματα (directed in 1928 by D. Gaziadis), and Aplauso (Χειροκροτήματα) (directed in 1944 by G. Tzavelas), the most important of which is 1944 in which the great tragic Katina Paxinou was awarded the Oscar for best supporting actress for Whom the Bell Tolls.

The golden age of Greek cinema was the 1950s – when up to 60 films were produced a year, with a film like Estela, directed by Michael Cacoyannis, one of the most famous directors. Notable actors and directors of this period were Alekos Sakelarios, Nikos Tsiforos, Ellie Lambeti, Dinos Iliopoulos and Irene Papas. Cacoyannis, in particular, who directed Alexis Zorbas in the 60s, going so far as to win 3 Oscars.

Since this time, Greek cinema has been relatively stagnant. Not counting films such as Loafing and Camoflage (Λούφα και Παραλλαγή), whose popular success he brought out of the deadlock using Aegean comedy. Other political themes have been touched on in the film that includes immigration from Albania, for example “Μετέωρο βήμα του πελαργού, Το” (1991) (in English: The suspended Step of the Stork) directed by Theo Angelopoulos.

More recently films such as Politiki kouzina (A Touch of Cinnamon) and the taboo sex comedy Safe Sex show the upward trend in the quality of Greek cinema.

This may be related, in large part, to an unrivaled period of economic prosperity in Greece, which has led to an increase in cultural production in all the arts, both physical and visual.


The Greek Constitution guarantees absolute freedom of religion. It also says that all people living on Greek territory will enjoy full protection of their religious beliefs. According to the Constitution, the “prevailing religion” is the Greek Orthodox Church based in the capital city of Athens. Greek Muslims make up 1.3% of the population and are mainly concentrated in Thrace. There are also some Evangelical and Catholic Protestants, mainly in the Cyclades Islands; and Jews, especially in Thessalonica. There are several growing groups trying to rebuild and profess the Faith by the ancient Greek polytheistic religion.

Greece Culture