Thursday, May 29, 2008

No Women Allowed

As a newer member of the Church of the Brethren, I found this article about the "violation" of Mount Athos to be sadly tragic on several levels.

ATHENS (Reuters) - Four Moldovan women accidentally violated a 1,000-year-old ban on females entering the all male monastic community of Mount Athos, when they were left on Greek shores by human traffickers.

Police said Monday the women -- aged between 27 and 32 -- as well as a 41-year-old Moldovan man were smuggled from Turkey by boat to the Greek Orthodox community of 20 monasteries, long off limits to women. The reached land Sunday.

"They told police and the monks they were sorry but they couldn't have known this was a no-women area," said a police officer, who declined to be named. "They were forgiven."

Monks spotted the women late Sunday and alerted police. Under Greek law, the violation of the ban on women on Mount Athos, considered Orthodox Christianity's spiritual home, is illegal and can be punished with up to two years in jail.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

1 comment:

Brethren Priestess said...

Yikes! This is tragic. The fact that human beings are enslaved and trafficked is not what got the attention here, rather, it's the fact that their trafficking wound up confronting patriarchal religious norms! At least they didn't get punished for being there - but it is sad that there is more interest in the prohibition of women on Mount Athos than on the gruesome daily realities of human slavery...