Russia introduces RE in schools
Associated Press reports that school administrators in the Noginsk district, with some 20,000 students about 22
miles southeast of Moscow, have added religion to the curriculum as a moral framework to replace Lenin's
now discredited communist dogma. After a recent endorsement from the Education Ministry, such programs look
set to spring up around the country -- despite a federal law prohibiting religion in schools and the
Russian constitution's separation of church and state. The full report (see link below) also says
"Supporters of Orthodox culture classes so far have been more vocal than opponents. On Dec. 15, several
hundred people gathered with icons and crosses in front of the Education Ministry, saying they were
defending ethnic Russians' right to know their culture."
Human rights groups worry that bringing the
dominant Russian Orthodox Church into public schools will upset the country's fragile ethnic
Officials in Noginsk and the local priests who helped develop the class, "The Fundamentals of
Orthodox Culture," say their version of the subject is respectful to other faiths. They say they are merely
exposing students to the country's traditional religion, which they consider essential for understanding
Russia, its art and its literature.
School officials are quick to point out that anyone can opt out
of the class.
SOURCE - FULL STORY:
AP via NJ.com
6 Jan 2003