Topic 2 Cyprus

Cyprus is a country where many religions coexist. However, the

main representatives are Greek Orthodox and Muslims.

  • Greek Orthodox: 78%
  • Muslim: 18%
  • Roman Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists, Maronite Catholics and Armenian Orthodox with small populations of Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Baha’is: 4%

According to Cypriot Constitution, all religions are equal before the law and everyone has the right to freely choose and practice their religious beliefs individually or collectively, in private or in public.


The Turkish invasion of 1974:

  • The 1974 Turkish invasion and the subsequent occupation of the northern part of the island were events, which affected the island’s demographics, political, cultural and religious background.
  • The division is not only between Turkish and between Cypriot, but there is also a religious division between the Northern part of the island, dominated by the Muslim community, and the Southern part of the island dominated by the Christian Orthodox Church of Cyprus.
  • The big conflict between the Greek Cypriots and the Muslim Cypriots overlies the fact that there is also discrimination and unequal treatment towards members of other religions.

For more information about the Turkish invasion see here:

Source: AdobeStock_240310387_ingusk.jpeg

In Cyprus, individuals from all religious groups on the island have been subjected to assault, attacks and abuse with anti-religious motives, both in the past and in recent years. In addition to discrimination and violence on religious  grounds against individuals and members of religious minorities, there are acts of terrorism, vandalism, hate crimes or desecration of public places of collective religious  practice:

There are many mechanisms in Cyprus that aim to combat and prevent hate crimes and attacks against religion. First and foremost, is the Constitution of Cyprus. The Republic of Cyprus has ratified most European and United Nations Conventions that are related to discrimination. There are many public authorities that deal with this issue. The most important are listed below. For more information, click on the name of the institution.

Non-governmental organizations such as Caritas and KISA in Cyprus are among stakeholders in support of victims of hate crimes as well as awareness raising actors in favor of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.

  • KISA: Its action relates to the areas of migration, discrimination and racism and involves awareness-raising in the Cypriot society and efforts to influence the policies and legal framework related to such areas of activity.
  • Caritas: The emphasis on human equality, peace and reconciliation is key to their declaration of values and Catholic social teaching is guiding their actions.