Synod would allow changes to religious studies textbooks


The Church of Greece’s ruling body made a first, albeit small, step Wednesday toward allowing Greek schools to teach pupils more about religions other than the Greek Orthodox faith.

The Holy Synod said in a statement that it agrees with some chapters on other religions being added to the textbooks used at schools, but only as long as “priority is given to the Orthodox tradition, which is followed by the majority of Greeks.”

The government has said that it would like to change the focus of religious studies classes so that pupils learn more about religions around the world. The Holy Synod indicated that making additions to the textbooks already used would be enough to improve the scope, rather than making any other changes.

The bishops repeated the Church’s opposition to the government’s idea of allowing pupils to be excused religion classes without formal approval.