The Hellenic Data Protection Authority ruled that the indication of religion and nationality in secondary education certificates, as well as the solemn declaration by students that they are not Orthodox Christians so that they are exempt from the religious education, were unconstitutional, unlawful and contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Authority calls on the Ministry of Education to comply with its decision.
It is recalled that the Hellenic League for Human Rights and the Atheist Union had resorted to the Authority, arguing that it was unconstitutional and illegal to include religion and nationality in their certificates.
The Authority considered that the indication of religion and nationality in school records and “myschool” information system, as well as the solemn declaration that the student is not a Christian Orthodox so that he/she is exempt on the grounds of religious or spiritual beliefs, are not legal.
At the same time, the Authority calls on the Ministry of Education to refrain from such measures and to ensure that the relevant arrangements are amended immediately.
The Ministry of Education is urged to issue instructions to the school authorities so that the students must no longer make a solemn declaration for their exemption from religious education. Instead, this right would be exercised whether by the student, if he/she is adult, or by the student’s parents, if he/she is minor, solely on the grounds of religious or spiritual beliefs.