26 September 2006, 10:49
History of religions cannot replace Basics of Orthodox Culture in schools - Alexy II
St. Petersburg, September 26, Interfax - A subject in the school curriculum dealing with the history of world religions does not come as an adequate replacement for the Basics of Orthodox Culture, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II said at a meeting with teachers and students of St. Petersburg's theological schools.
"The History of Religions does not give any moral core to a person. Now that the moral foundations of life have been trampled upon, it is necessary to give every person guidelines and an opportunity to study the basics of his culture," the Orthodox Church head said.
The Basics of Orthodox Culture is a culturological subject, Alexy II said, adding that every educated person must know the key principles of his country's culture.
However, there are areas where mostly representatives of other religions live, he said. The basics of their religion and culture should be taught there, the patriarch said, adding, "If they live in Russia, they should know the basics of our common Fatherland's culture as well."
"We are not raising the issue of sending priests to schools," Alexy II said. Secular people should teach the Basics of Orthodox Culture, the patriarch said. Such specialists can receive training at several institutions, including the St. Tikhon Humanities University, he said.
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