The God Dilemma: Faith, the Church, and Political Violence in Cyprus
Abstract

Abstract:

The Cypriot Orthodox Church played an essential role in the Greek-Cypriot struggle for political unification with Greece (enosis) during the 1950s. Church support was both ideological and material, providing the philosophical basis for the campaign directed against British rule and partnering with the armed group EOKA; in this way, the church shaped the struggle’s inception and its course. But the struggle also inherited the church’s limitations; irredentist, Christian-Orthodox, and anti-communist, its rigid ideology excluded and antagonized Cyprus’s Turkish minority and the Greek-Cypriot left wing, fatally pigeon-holing enosis as a movement of the Greek-Cypriot right. At the same time, church leaders, particularly Archbishop Makarios III, struggled with the idea of employing fatal violence to further the cause. This tension eventually undercut the use of violence to achieve enosis and contributed to the negotiated compromise of independence.