The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece ruled on Tuesday that yoga has no place in the life of Christians.

Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens headed the meeting which discussed yoga following Greek media reports suggesting that yoga techniques could help people deal with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The church reminded Christians that yoga is a fundamental part of the religion of Hinduism and should be viewed as a ‘spiritual’ act rather than simply a ‘kind of exercise’. The reminder was simply a follow-up to a 2015 church decision which denounced yoga.

“Yoga is completely incompatible with our Orthodox Faith and has no place in the lives of Christians,” was the overall ruling which called on Christians to avoid the practice.

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A circular has also been distributed to the clergy and metropolitans of the Church of Greece to abstain from events organised by the Rotary and Lions international organisations which the Holy Synod ruled are “not just social events” but also religious acts. The rite of passage for new members which include a prayer addressed vaguely to God were viewed with suspicion.

The Synod also looked at the activities of a new Protestant group known as the Hellenic Missionary Union which was active in recruiting new members.