Court deems changes to school religion classes unconstitutional

Court deems changes to school religion classes unconstitutional

The Council of State on Tuesday deemed unconstitutional a set of changes introduced by former education minister Nikos Filis to the way religion is taught at the country's public schools, in a bid to introduce greater separation between church and state.

The government's plan “distorted the purpose of [religious] teaching, which is, according to the Constitution, to develop pupils' Christian conscience,” judges at the country's highest administrative court ruled, according to a source quoted by Agence France-Presse.

The decision was welcomed by the Church of Greece, which had vehemently opposed the leftist-led government's plan from the outset, with Archbishop Ieronymos saying Tuesday that “the Church and state will continue their cooperation.”

The Education Ministry said that while it respected the court's decision, it believes that the ruling is a “step backward.”

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