Deputy education minister calls for end to tension with Church

TAGS: Education, Religion, Politics

Deputy Education Minister Sia Anagnostopoulou has weighed into an ongoing row between Education Minister Nikos Filis and Archbishop Ieronymos, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, over changes being introduced to religion classes at the country’s public schools, saying that “it is a dispute that should end here, for all of our sakes.”

Speaking at a press conference in the western port city of Patra on Saturday, Anagnostopoulou said “there is no cause for conflict between the Church and the political leadership of the Education Ministry over religion classes,” stressing that education comes under the clear jurisdiction of the state.

The official was referring to a row that broke out after Ieronymos publicly objected to the changes in the religion curriculum introduced by Filis, prompting a response from the minister and an angry exchange of letters between the two last week.

Anagnostopoulou said that the curriculum was developed by a committee that included theologians and education experts. “I don’t understand why the Church feels threatened when the education minister decides to implement the recommendations of theologians themselves,” she said.