Athens (Feb. 1)
More than 300 persons have been expelled from Greece in recent months for having indulged in religious or political proselytism, Greek authorities announced today. Most of those expelled were either Roman Catholic missionaries or German Nazis.
The Greek Government also announced it would take energetic action to halt the campaign of conversion now being carried on in that country by Roman Catholics.
Roman Catholic officials were directly blamed for the conversion campaign by Greek police, who have been making an extensive investigation.
CHILDREN SPIRITED TO ITALY
The campaign, police disclosed, has been centered around the conversion of Jewish and Greek Catholic children. The usual method, police stated, was to take away children of very poor parents on pretext of an excursion to Italy and then placing them in convents there. Later, parents in Greece would receive letters stating that “the child has taken the right way of religion.”
Recently several cases of conversion of young Jews to Roman Catholicism attracted wide interest. In one case the Greek government intervened with Premier Benito Mussolini to force the restoration of a young Jewish girl of Salonica to her parents. She was found in an obscure convent in Italy after all efforts by the parents proved unavailing.
MISSIONARIES BRIBE CONVERTS
Greek Jewish communities, particularly Salonica, where 60,000 Jews live, have protested bitterly to the government against the invasion of Catholic missionaries, who come into the poverty stricken Jewish communities and make converts by the lavish use of money.
The Greek government, it was learned has addressed energetic protests to the Vatican and to the Italian government against the campaign of conversion.
Abraham Gottlieb was serving as a director of the American Society of Civil Engineers at the time of his death in 1894.