Kerameus pledges to implement court rulings on religious education

Kerameus pledges to implement court rulings on religious education

Greece's Education Minister Niki Kerameus pledged to abide by two court rulings regarding the way religion is taught at the country's public high schools and the procedure to seek exemption from the course.

“The ministry will address in a coherent manner all the issues raised by the recent court decisions. In this context, it goes without saying that the religious curriculum and the system of exemption from the course will also be changed,” Kerameus said.

On Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced in a ruling that the Greek system for exempting schoolchildren from religious education classes is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, because it forces parents to reveal information from which it can be inferred that they and their children adhere, or do not adhere, to a specific religious dogma.

It also said the existing system can even deter parents from making an exemption request, the court said.

In an older ruling, Greece's Council of State deemed unconstitutional changes introduced by former education minister Nikos Filis to the course, which sought to scrap the catechistic character of religious classes.

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