Filis makes fresh call to separate Church and state

TAGS: Politics, Education, Religion

The government must take steps to promote the separation of Church and state, according to a SYRIZA minister who has come under fire over plans to to change the way religion is taught in school.

Speaking to Real FM Monday, Education Minister Nikos Filis said his strong showing at the ruling party’s congress last weekend – which saw him being elected to the ruling party’s central committee with the second highest number of votes – indicated the leftist majority falls behind him on the issue.

“Leftist folk have for years been nurtured [with the idea] and are politically convinced that steps must be taken in what is known as separation of Church and state,” Filis said.

Speaking of ministry plans to change the content of religious studies so that they enable pupils to learn about other faiths – a reform that has triggered reactions from the Church and the conservative opposition – Filis said the government was open to further dialogue with religious officials.

“That said, there is no question about who decides. The state has the final say on this. It won’t be a joint decision,” he said.