November 6, 2010

The Greek "Citizen Card" and the Orthodox Response

According to reports, the "citizen card" will be used for all of the citizen's transactions with the state and for social services in particular.

The card will also be used as a travel document for destinations within Schengen.

According to the same reports, the government is orientated towards extending the uses of the card to uses for the private sector as well, such as transactions with banks.

The same sources said that there is no question with personal data and that their full protection is anticipated.

The "citizen's card" is expected to start being available as of December 2011 and will gradually replace the police identity card.

Many Orthodox Christians fear this card may prove to be the mark of the Antichrist, or at least a forerunner to it. Protests abound, based on these fears.

It is unfortunate that Orthodox Christians are ruled by fear on this issue, when no evidence even suggests this is a mark for evil. Paranoia seems to have once again set it, a "satanic panic" of sorts based on unfounded conspiracies.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Zakynthos has given a blanced response to public fears when asked about the "citizen card": "I have the same opinion that I had about the ID cards. If someone has Christ within them they will not fear 200 demons, not even one."

When he was asked his opinion if it contained within it a chip with the number 666, he responded: "Let it have the number '666' 3,000 times over. It will not concern me a bit."

Some Metropolitans and clergy will refuse the card however, because it disturbs the conscience of Orthodox Christians.