Critics of new religion courses fear ‘dechristianization’ of students

Critics of new religion courses fear ‘dechristianization’ of students

Critics of the new way religion is being taught in schools are calling on parents to send letters to the Education Ministry to express their opposition as, they claim, it will lead to the “dechristianization” of students.

The new religion course program was agreed to after a dialogue between Church authorities and the Education Ministry. But several parents have reportedly already voiced their opposition, demanding that their children are not taught chapters in the curriculum that refer to religions other than Orthodox Christianity.

Education Ministry officials have told Kathimerini that the opposition is baseless and that students have the right to be exempted from religion courses. Moreover, the head of the Panhellenic Union of Theologians, Kostas Spalioras, told Kathimerini that he is not aware of the issue.

Nonetheless, parents are being urged by religious circles over the internet to “wake up” and to send a letter to the ministry to declare that they do not want their children to attend the courses, citing the concept of religious freedom as enshrined in the Greek Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Students this year will be taught religion from a so-called “Student File” text until new religion textbooks are made available. Critics say the “Student File” teaches students about different religions and claim it will confuse their understanding of Orthodox Christianity, which they say is not being treated on an equal basis.

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