Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes
|Type||Non-profit, Hellenic ethnic religion|
|Key people||Vlassis Rassias|
The Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes (Ύπατο Συμβούλιο των Ελλήνων Εθνικών, Ýpato Symvoúlio to̱n Ellí̱no̱n Ethnikó̱n), commonly known as YSEE, is a non-profit umbrella organisation in Greece established in 1997 to defend and restore the Hellenic ethnic religion in contemporary Greek society. Since their founding, YSEE has distributed over 200 letters of protest and press releases aimed at increasing religious freedom for Pagans in Greece and hosted over 200 educational events.
The group itself estimates that perhaps 2.000 Greeks practice in the Hellenic religious tradition and another 100.000 have "some sort of interest", although this has not been independently verified and the group admits that the numbers of adherents are difficult to estimate. These Greek Pagans face varying degrees of discrimination in Greece, which is overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian. One of YSEE's main goals is to obtain legal recognition for their religion, which is not acknowledged as a "legal person of public law" in Greece. One consequence of this lack of legal recognition is that Pagan Greeks have been prevented from establishing permanent places of worship. Greek courts unbanned the worship of polytheistic gods in 2006.
The YSEE is a founding member of the European Congress of Ethnic Religions and hosted the seventh annual WCER Congress in June 2004. YSEE is also a member of the European Union's action programme to combat discrimination. In addition to their political activities, YSEE regularly holds traditional Hellenic religious rituals and ceremonies, including an annual Prometheia festival at Mount Olympus. About 2500 people attended the Prometheia in 2005, making it easily the largest such gathering in the modern world. The festival includes talks on philosophical and religious topics, theatrical and artistic displays, and religious rituals and namegiving ceremonies.
Outside of Greece
The Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes has formed chapters in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany and Brazil, offering lectures, events, and support for practitioners of Hellenism outside of Greece.
- Religion in Greece
- Separation of church and state in Greece
- Persecution of ancient Greek religion
- European Congress of Ethnic Religions
- YSEE homepage (English version)
- MSNBC clips featuring YSEE members
- Wojciech Jan Rudny interviews YSEE on behalf of the polish «GNIAZDO» magazine
- "Letter From Greece: The Gods Return to Olympus". Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- Smith, Helena (2006-05-05). "Greek gods prepare for comeback". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- "International Religious Freedom Report 2004". Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- "International Religious Freedom Report 2005". Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- "Greece". Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- Προμήθεια "2005" (in Greek). Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- A Beginner's Guide to Hellenismos (2007) by Timothy Jay Alexander ISBN 978-1-4303-2456-0 (Page 16)
- The Pagan Man: Priests, Warriors, Hunters, and Drummers (2006) by Isaac Bonewits ISBN 978-0-8065-2697-3 (Page 32)
- Hellenismos Today (2007) by Timothy Jay Alexander ISBN 978-1-4303-1427-1 (Page 20)
- The Gods of Reason: An Authentic Theology for Modern Hellenismos (2007) by Timothy Jay Alexander ISBN 978-1-4303-2763-9 (Page 25)
- THE ENGLISH LEXICON OF STANDARD TERMINOLOGY FOR HELLENISMOS From <<Θύραθεν>> ΦΙΛΟΣΟΦΙΚΟ ΛΕΞΙΚΟ by Vlassis G. Rassias http://www.ysee.gr/download/TELOSTFH.pdf