01 September 2006, 16:59
Catholic leaders in Russia support introduction of Basic Orthodox Culture to schools in 15 regions
Moscow, September 1, Interfax - Rev. Igor Kowalevski, general secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Russia, has stressed the importance of teaching Basic Orthodox Culture in schools in Russia.
'I believe the Basic Orthodox Culture course will contribute to the religious education of youth and will thus be beneficial for the entire multinational and multiconfessional Russian society', Father Igor said to Interfax on Friday.
He noted that in studying this discipline, the younger generation 'will be introduced to religious culture and it is very important'. He also expressed hope that this course 'will make an objective presentation of the religious situation in Russia and in the world'.
'Whatever the private opinions of representatives of various confessions may be, they still should remember that we live in Russia in which Orthodoxy is a culture-forming religion. Orthodoxy played a tremendous role in the formation of Russian statehood', the general secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops stressed.
Therefore, he added, the teaching of Basic Orthodox Culture in Russia 'cannot harm anybody'.
This academic year, Basic Orthodox Culture will be included as a compulsory discipline in the school curriculum in the Belgorod, Kaluga, Bryansk and Smolensk Regions.
Another 11 regions will have the Orthodox course taught on an optional basis.