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08 June, 2001
A spokesman for the Orthodox Church's powerful Holy Synod on Thursday said the Church has collected some 2.8 million signatures nationwide towards its campaign to force a referendum on whether Greek citizens should have the option of listing religious affiliation on state-issued IDs.
In a press briefing, Metropolitan of Sparta Efstathios said the exact number of signatures would be announced at the end of June.
The government's decision last year to issue new ID cards sans the religious affiliation on grounds that it constitutes a violation of citizens' privacy concerning personal data caused a firestorm of opposition from the Autocephalus Orthodox Church of Greece.
In December, the Council of State, the country's highest administrative court, favored the exclusion of the religious affiliation category on IDs, while recommending that nationality be included.
Source: Athens News Agency