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Greek monk group upsets elders

TRIKORFO, Greece -- A group of Greek Orthodox monks whose rock music has stormed the Greek charts are ruffling the feathers of Greece's conservative Holy Synod.

The 15 monks of the Saints Augustine and Serafeim Sarof monastery high in the hills of central Greece, none of them over 30, say modern times call for modern methods.

Last year the monks, who call themselves the "Free People," released a CD called I Learned to Live Free.

In contrast to Byzantine chant it was rock and roll accompanied by revolutionary lyrics that struck out at big power, globalisation, drugs, conformity and the new world order.

The CD was a huge hit, going platinum after selling some 60,000 copies in the Greek market.

And despite the Greek church's warnings about "scandalous" behaviour, the young monks are doing it again.

Their new CD is called SOS-Save Our Souls and is full of bold lyrics about issues such as money, power, drug abuse and human exploitation by modern technology.

Their ideas have angered members of the Holy Synod and some bishops have condemned the monks, calling their actions "unseemly." They plan a trip to the monastery to investigate.



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