Practicing Hellenismos as a non-Greek?

There are still many people who ask: «Is it strange for a non-Greek to practice Hellenic religion?» or «Can I be a Hellenist, even though I am not Greek?». Others were put in a position where they feel the need to justify themselves for being Hellenists.

It is true that Hellenic religion is an ethnic religion. But this only means that it is a culture-specific religion, not a culturally exclusive one. No, you do not have to be a Greek to practice Hellenic religion. No, it is not strange for a non-Greek to follow the Hellenic tradition. Though we do not seek converts or proselytize, we are open to all people of good will who respect our tradition and culture. However, it must be emphasised that Hellenismos is not mere a religion, it is the wholeness of Hellenic culture, including its religion, language, history, politics, music, dance and ethnic identity. There is also a difference between practicing Hellenic religion and being a Hellenist, since a Hellenist is a person of non-Greek descent who is Greek in language, religion and way of life (ethos), meaning it is a person who hellenized himself. And it is yet a completely different issue to worship the Greek gods or some of them outside of the Hellenic context.

If someone wants to practice our religion or to «open himself» up to Hellenismos, he is welcome to do so. But we do not try to convince other people or persuade them into our ancestral religion. You do not have to defend your choice to strangers. You can explain the reasons for your choice, if you wish to do so; but you do not have to. You are not responsible for the stereotypes, cliches and thoughts in people’s mind. Many times we say one thing and others interpret it differently. Often it is not things themselves that are wrong or weird, but people’s understanding of them, which is connected to the view they take of them.

So, yes, of course you can practice Hellenic religion and even approach Hellenismos, if you respect the Hellenic people and their sovereignty. The only thing you need is willingness to listen, learn and understand.