Thursday, August 31, 2006

In Some Parts of Russia, Classes on Orthodoxy Mandatory

From Asia News Italy:

The teaching of the Orthodox religion has now become mandatory in the high
schools of four provinces of what once was the atheist Soviet state. In July
Moscow’s Spiritual Academy approved “Basics of Orthodox Culture”, a course soon
to be taught in the provinces of Belgorod, Kaluga, Brjansk and Smolensk. By
2010, the Moscow Patriarchate should have trained some 10,000 religious
teachers. In 11 other provinces, religion will be taught but won’t be
These developments reflect the Russian Orthodox Church’s plan to have
religion taught across the country. By contrast, government officials are
planning a more general course on the “History of World Religions” so as to not
offend the country’s religious minorities.
Aleksij II, patriarch of Moscow
and All Russia, is convinced that “pupils should know the history of their
culture, and this is the goal of ‘Basics of Orthodox Culture’.” He also believes
that this is true for other religions as well.