Council of State says changes to school religion courses are unconstitutional


The Council of State on Wednesday deemed unconstitutional and contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights changes introduced by former education minister Nikos Filis to the way religion is taught at the country's public high schools.

The decision by the court was based on the same criteria as the previous ruling with regard to primary schools.

“In accordance with the constitutional principle of equality and the provisions of articles 9 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights, the State cannot, by regulating the content of religious course, deprive students of a particular religion of the right which it recognizes to students belonging to other religions, to teach exclusively the doctrines of their faith," the court ruling said.

The education ministry had vowed in 2016 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.