Theologians say changes to the way religion is taught at school are ‘unconstitutional’

Theologians say changes to the way religion is taught at school are ‘unconstitutional’

The National Union of Theologians has appealed to the Council of State, the country’s highest legal body, to cancel the changes introduced by the government to the way religion is taught at schools on the grounds that they are “unconstitutional.”

The appeal, also backed by 10 parents and theologians from around the country, states that the changes introduced by former Education Minister Nikos Filis contradict the Orthodox nature of religion courses at schools, which was established when the Modern Greek state was founded.

“There is an effort to infiltrate the religious consciousness of students with the aim to change it,” the union said, adding that school children were being deprived of their constitutional right to be taught their faith.

The education ministry has vowed to scrap the catechistic character of religious classes, with Filis insisting that they should become more like religious studies, triggering a storm of protests emanating from the Church and more conservative strands of society.

The controversy made Filis a persona non grata in the eyes of the Church of Greece, while Archbishop Ieronymos, described him as a “problematic person” and “inconsistent in his actions and words.”

Filis, who is succeeded by Constantinos Gavroglou, has spoken of "far-right rhetoric" in the Church and hit out at Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after he was replaced last week in the cabinet reshuffle.

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