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Church opposes teaching policy

Mixing religion and politics in schools is a bad recipe, says archbishop reporter, Bhopal

July 4, 2011

The government should not mix religion with education and politics, an archbishop said today. Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal, who heads the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh, supported the church's demand that the state government should include summaries of all religions in the academic curriculum rather than just one religion. The demand follows the government’s decision to include lessons from the Bhagvad Gita, the Hindu scripture, from the current academic year in schools. Educational institutions should not be used to promote a particular religion in a secular country, said the archbishop. Mixing religion with education and politics would have long-lasting ramifications, he said. He said the government was consistently ignoring the minorities and their issues and trying to impose the majority religion on them. The Church is not against teaching precepts of all religions but is against promoting only one religion, he said. According to a government official, lessons from the Hindu scripture would be introduced for students from grade 1 to 10 as a supplement like moral science. When state chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan announced his intention to include a summary of the holy book into the school curriculum, minority communities including Christians, Muslims and Sikhs objected strongly. They said it was totally against the spirit of the country’s secular fabric and appealed to the state government to refrain from it. Related links: Christians, Muslims Relieved As Court Makes Sun Worship Optional In Schools
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