Confessional communities in Greece and violence: analyzing the "anti-Catholic syndrome" during the Yugoslavia's crisis
Paper short abstract:
Short Summary Through ethnographic data, press articles and accounts of Greek Catholic intellectuals, this ethnographic case study examines how a conflict, localized in a neighbouring country, can affect the peaceful coexistence of two confessional communities in two small Greek islands.
Paper long abstract:
Abstract What makes the specificity of the Greek islands of Tinos and Syros, is the large community of Catholics (a quarter or a half of the local population, according to different estimations and point of view) who claim a Greek origin. Their coexistence with the Orthodox community has been peaceful, with only one period of crisis in the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th, during the period that the Greeks started the War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. But during the Balkan wars in the 1990s and the conflict between Serbians and Croats, the crisis also affected the relations between these two confessional communities: violence was only verbal however, not physical. The Greek Catholic community was attacked in the media by a large segment of the Greek Orthodox majority. The cause for these (ecclesiastic as well as political) attacks was the supposed intervention of the Vatican in favour of the dismemberment of Yugoslavia. During this troubled period, the traditional "anti-Catholic syndrome" that characterizes some conservative and older segments of Greek society found opportunities to re-emerge. My aim is to present how a conflict, localized in a neighbouring country, can affect the peaceful coexistence of two confessional communities in two small islands. I will also analyze, through ethnographic data, press articles and accounts of Greek Catholic intellectuals, how members of these local communities managed to conciliate the opposite parties and to re-establish harmony inside the community.
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