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The religion of Greece is one of the most important elements of the culture of the country. 98% of the Greek population is Christian Orthodox while the other 2% are Catholic, Jewish and Muslims. After Roman Catholics and Protestants, the Orthodox Church forms the third largest branch of Christianity. According to historical evidence of Orthodoxy, Saint Paul was the first who came in Greece to preach Christianity in 49 AD, and many people converted their religion to Christianity. However, Christianity became the official religion of the Byzantine Empire from the Emperor Constantine the Great. In 1054 AD, the division of Christianity took place dividing into the Eastern and Western Church, the Orthodox and the Catholics. The Schism resulted into long disputes amongst the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Pope of Rome referring to the celibacy of the clergy, meaning that Orthodox priests could marry before becoming ordained and Catholic priests had to remain unmarried, receiving the wording of the Creed and the Holy Communion. Nevertheless, the biggest problem amid the two Churches was the mandatory requirement of the Pope to fully control the Eastern Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioche and Constantinople. Since the Byzantine times, the Greek Orthodox Church is strongly connected to the Nation of Greece, the time that national matters were strongly influenced from the Patriarch of Constantinople. During the Ottoman Empire, the religion was an important aspect for the conservation of the Greek Nationality, managing to preserve the culture, language and traditions of Greece through several occupations. The Orthodox Church and the State of Greece are separated, but the Orthodox Church has a great power in the Greek society.