A 27-year old Greek man has been arrested after accusations of blasphemy against famous Greek Orthodox Elder Paisios were leveled at him. Using a play on words to make fun of the Elder’s surname, Geron Pastitsios was a satire Facebook page made mocking the Elder by depicting his picture holding the pastitsios pasta dish.
Prompted by complaints (unconfirmed reports state that they originated from members of Greece’s ultra-right Golden Dawn) from citizens, a Greek “cyber crime” unit was dispatched and arrested the young man.
The charges accuse him of “managing a Facebook page with profane and offensive content for Elder Paisios and Orthodox Christianity.”
The twitter hashtag, #freegeronpastitsios, has exploded in popularity since word of his arrest went public.
In the wake of riots from the Islamic world over the publication of an amateur YouTube video, Innocence of Muslims, the call for the enforcement of a blasphemy law in a majority Christian nation like Greece illustrates that religious fervor is not particular to any creed.