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Religious Cyprus

The majority of the population of Cyprus ethnic Greeks profess Orthodox Christianity, ethnic Turks Islam.

The Cypriot Orthodox Church has the status of a quasi-state institution and plays a prominent role in the social and political life of the country; Primate of the Church of Cyprus Archbishop of New Justiniana and all of Cyprus. In addition to the temples (more than 500), which are present in almost every village, the church has 11 monasteries in Cyprus, which own the significant and most fertile lands of the island, which have year-round artificial irrigation, and other large properties.

The Armenian, Catholic, Maronite churches, as well as Judaism and other religions are represented.

The 1960 Constitution (Article 19) decides that everyone has the right to freedom of speech, conscience and religion. All religions are equal before the law and no legislative, executive or administrative act of the Republic can discriminate against any religious institution or religious organization. Everyone has the right to freedom of religion, he can study his religion individually or collectively. The only existing restrictions on such freedom are defined in the Constitution of the Republic and control the security of the Republic and its citizens. All these decrees indicate that there is no official recognized religion on the island. They also guarantee the protection of the rights of the three religious groups, which constitute a smaller part of the population (Catholics, Armenians and Maronites).

In Cyprus, in particular, in Paphos, a considerable number of Russian-speaking Orthodox Christians live. Of course, all of them are deeply respectful of the Orthodox traditions of Cyprus, many are fluent in Greek and attend local churches. But there are those who would gladly attend services in Russian. In this regard, Russian-speaking Christians appealed to the Metropolitan of Paphos – George, with a request to allow the holding of church services in Russian.
The Metropolitan blessed the Russian-speaking Christians, and on July 4 in the church of St. George, located in the suburb of Paphos – Khlopak, at the hotel of St. George, the Divine Liturgy took place. This important event marked the beginning of a wonderful tradition: now the church service in Russian will be held in the church of St. George every month, every first Sunday, as a rule, at 9 am.
All Russian-speaking Christians and the “Russian Society” of Paphos expressed their sincere thanks to Metropolitan George for the opportunity to conduct church services in Russian.

After separation, the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots live in the south, and the Turks live in the north. The total population is about 850 thousand people, of which 160 thousand are Turks. Also, 60 thousand Englishmen live on the island (the share of which until recently in real estate transactions in Cyprus was 65%), 35 thousand Russians, 4 thousand Armenians. After the 1974 war, about 180,000 Greek Cypriots fled or were forcibly relocated south. About 42 thousand Turks moved to the north. And only in the village of Pyla, Larnaca District, with the UN-appointed administration, both groups live.


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