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Article in the 2016 Current Debates section concerning the school topic for Greece:

  • November 2016: Religious education at school

The relations between the Government and the Church of Greece have deteriorated during the last few months, mainly because the government plans to transform the religious class given in primary and secondary education, from a course with a clear confessional character into a course in which the pupils will get acquainted with the cultural frames, value systems, and doctrines of all the world religions. This governmental plan has triggered a strong reaction from the Church of Greece, threatening the current modus vivendi. It is interesting to note that archbishop Hieronymus has recently started to approach the hardliners, moving away from his moderate stance into a more conservative and rigorist discourse. The late replacement of the minister of Education and Cults, Nikos Philis (4/11/2016), who was accused by archbishop Hieronymus of anti-clerical tendencies, practically marks the blocking of the neutralization process of the religious education. Syriza party withdrew their pro-secular agenda in front of the threat to social unity at a critical time for the country’s economy. The state’s administration also withdrew, due to the firm reaction of the Independent Greeks party, namely the coalition partner of Syriza.

D 25 November 2016    AKonstantinos Papastathis

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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