Ellinais (Greek: Ελληναίς or ΕΛΛΗΝ.Α.Ι.Σ.), also known as The Holy Association of Greek Ancient Religion Believers (Ελλήνων Αρχαιοθρήσκων Ιερόν Σωματείον), is an Athens-based religious organization intended to revive the worship of ancient Greek gods. Ellinais was founded in 2005 and has only 34 official members, mainly academics, lawyers and other professionals. The group has received state recognition of the ancient Greek religion. It is demanding that its offices be registered as places of worship, which could allow the group to perform weddings and other rites. The group believes in world peace, ecological awareness, and the right to education. The group has three high priests, one of whom is Kostas Stathopoulos.
2007 Temple of Olympian Zeus rite
On 22 January 2007 Ellinais held the first known ceremony of its kind at the 1,800 year old Temple of Olympian Zeus since the ancient Greek religion was outlawed by the Christian Roman empire in the late 4th century. In defiance of a government ban, the 90-minute event included hymns, dancers and torchbearers. Worshipers, dressed in ancient costume, recited ancient hymns calling on Zeus, "King of the Gods and the mover of things", to bring peace to the world. The priests celebrated the nuptials of Zeus with Hera, the goddess of love and marriage, below the imposing Corinthian-style columns in the city centre.
A herald holding a metal staff, topped with two snake heads, proclaimed the beginning of the ceremony before priests in blue and red chitons, or robes, released two white doves, symbols of peace. A priest then poured libations of wine and incense burned on a tiny copper tripod while a choir of men and women chanted ancient hymns under the watchful eye of "guards", dressed as ancient Greek hoplites, or soldiers.