A mysterious sect that came and swiftly left

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A group of Danish citizens that settled for a while in a village outside Thessaloniki in northern Greece apparently belonged to a secretive Christian sect that is now accused of mistreating its followers, including by subjecting children and adults alike to corporal punishment.

The inhabitants of Melissohori remember a group of very polite and industrious individuals who bought two derelict houses and worked hard to refit them. The children, who also took part in the refitting, were homeschooled; the reason given was that at least some of them had suffered bullying back in Denmark.

The villagers had welcomed the Danish group in January 2019; they had been told that the new arrivals planned to settle permanently in the country and learn the language. Soon, they also started to observe behaviors that seemed strange; the Danes told different back stories to different people about their previous lives; they covered themselves rigorously, even when swimming in their pool, and did not allow themselves to be photographed. Children told their Greek playmates that they did not watch TV or use the internet and their future marriages had been prearranged.

In October 2020, the group sold the houses and left suddenly, even though a Greek lawyer involved in both the acquisition and sale had advised them to wait until prices rebound after the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The villagers told Kathimerini that some people showed up again a few months ago, but did not stay.

A woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, recently told Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that her children had been emotionally and physically abused. The sect, founded in Denmark in 1990 and called “Father’s House,” had told her upon arrival in Greece that another family would raise the children. Even adults were hit, she claimed, if they “did not follow the way of Christ.”

Content retrieved from: https://www.ekathimerini.com/news/1206960/a-mysterious-sect-that-came-and-swiftly-left/.

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