Greek Evangelical Church
The Greek Evangelical Church (Greek: Ελληνική Ευαγγελική Εκκλησία Elliniki Evangeliki Ekklisia) is a Presbyterian Reformed denomination in Greece. It was the first Protestant church established in the country.
The Greek Evangelical Church dates back to 1858 when preacher Michail Kalapothakis started publishing the magazine Astir tis Anatolis ("Star of the East") which is still published today. He gathered a group of followers thus forming the first Greek Evangelical community and organized Sunday School for children as well as issuing the Efimeris ton Paidon (Newspaper of the Children) in 1868.
The first Greek Evangelical Church was built in 1871 in the center of Athens, which was demolished and rebuilt in 1956 due to the increasing number of followers. Greek Evangelicalism spread also through the Greeks in the Ottoman Empire, the first Greek Evangelical community in Asia Minor was founded in 1867. Today there are 30 Greek Evangelical Churches in Greece, 3 in Cyprus and 5 in the Greek diaspora.
Greek Evangelical Church is theologically Calvinist. Beliefs are typical of most Protestant denominations: they recognize the Bible as the only authority on matters of faith (sola scriptura) and recognize two sacraments (baptism and holy communion). Their Confession of Faith is very similar to the Westminster Confession and consists of 28 articles.
The Greek Evangelical Church is affiliated with the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the World Council of Churches.