Friday, February 10, 2012

Putin Favors Compulsory Rel. Classes in Russia; Says They Must Be Taught by Priests, Theologians

The RIA Novosti (Russian) website reports today (February 10, 2012) that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this week came out in favor of robust religion and secular ethics classes in Russian schools, saying they should be taught by theology specialists or priests.

Banned during the Soviet communist era -- from 1917 to 1991 -- religion classes returned to middle schools in selected Russian regions in 2009.

Under Putin's plan, students would choose to study the history of one of the four traditional religions -- Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism -- or more general courses such as "basics of secular ethics."

Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov proposed making religion classes compulsory in all of Russia as of September 2012.