Russia backs choice of religion class in schools

Debate began over Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture class
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has given the green light to efforts by religious leaders to introduce religion into schools.

“Their implementation will help strengthen the moral and spiritual foundations of our society, as well as strengthen the unity of our multiethnic and multireligious country,” he said July 21 at a meeting with religious leaders outside Moscow.

Medvedev was responding to an appeal by Russia’s Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Orthodox leaders, whose faiths are officially referred to as the country’s “traditional” religions.

There has been debate for several years about the teaching of a course called Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture in schools. Critics said that it would impose Russian Orthodoxy on secular schoolchildren and that it is inappropriate for a country with several other religions.


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