Compulsory Religious Instruction – With Limitations
January 22, 2013
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From 2013 on, compulsory religious education is being introduced gradually into the Hungarian school system (until now, state schools had to organise religious education at the request of the parents). This violates of course religious freedom, i.e. the freedom not to make a statement about one’s religion, since the school can of course guess about a parent’s religion by looking which religious education class the kid attends. The whole thing is bound to get complicated, as most neighborhoods and school classes are religiously heterogeneous. Consequently, religious education will have to be organised for potentially three dozen different groups of pupils at each level at all schools, and things will be even more complicate if there is more than one class per grade. Even the head of the biggest denomination in Hungary, Catholic Péter Erdő, has stated that his church does not have enough teachers to cover all schools (meanwhile, inexistent ethics teachers are trained at 101 courses of 60 hours). Anyway, some schools have found a way to cut down on the number of groups: as a father, Fabius of the Varanus blog got a letter from his kid’s school offering him a choice not of thirty something denominations enjoying church status, but 5 choices, listed very correctly in alphabetic order: ethics, “evangélikus” (i.e. Lutheran), Greek catholic, “reformed” (i.e. Calvinist), roman catholic.