Preaching in Greece


by Nartaka Gopal devi dasi

We went to Athens, Greece, in September 2021 to visit our godbrother Dayanidhi Prabhu, temple President of ISKCON Athens. We met many wonderful devotees, went on a few harinamas, and Langa Ganesh Prabhu and I gave over ten lectures between the two of us.

For thousands of years, Greece has been known as a land of great thinkers, with such men as Aristotle, Hippocrates, Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras, Plutarch, and Archimedes leading the way. It stands to reason that a “thinking man’s” movement such as Krishna consciousness should do well there.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness devotees have been active in Greece for over forty years, with some success. Over the years, eight different temples opened in Athens, and at least one successful restaurant. However, none of the temples could last long because they could not get the needed permission to legally establish ISKCON as a religion with the Greek government.

Greek Orthodoxy is the prevailing religion in Greece, and any other religion must be registered with the government to be able to practice. The Greek constitution prohibits “proselytizing,” defined by law as “any direct or indirect attempt to intrude on the religious beliefs of a person of a different religious persuasion with the aim of undermining those beliefs,” thus making it difficult for the devotees to distribute books or even have big harinamas, public chanting, without being officially registered.

Italian devotee Dayanidhi Prabhu went to Greece for the first time in 1984; at that time he was Regional Secretary for NE, Central and South Italy including Greece. In 1992, he brought Srila Prabhupada’s Murti to Athens with HH Hridayananda Maharaja and had an installation ceremony. In 2019 he opened the current temple in the center of Athens, near Omonia Square, Kaningos 13, giving classes every morning and evening (on Facebook: and also holding harinamas and Sunday feasts.

This is the ninth attempt to establish an ISKCON temple in Athens. Dayanidhi Prabhu, along with other devotees such as Namasankirtana Prabhu, has been trying for years to get ISKCON officially registered in Greece, hiring different lawyers to deal with the Greek government’s complex bureaucratic procedures. 

By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada the very good news is that they just got the permission from the Greek government to open a legal temple in Athens, named Sri Prabhupada Loka. Now they can buy a new building for the temple and legally distribute many of Srila Prabhupada’s books in Greek. Amazing!

Nafplio, Greece
ISKCON Athens 1
ISKCON Athens 2
ISKCON Athens 3
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