2016-08-22 10:00:00

Religious component will not be strengthened in Russian education system - new education minister

Moscow, August 22, Interfax - Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva told Interfax her research work in the sphere of history and religion should not be identified with work in her new post.

"I have studied the history of church in the years of the war, the relations between the state and church in the 20th century. It would be wrong to transfer, identify this research work with the work in the post of education minister," Vasilyeva said.

"My main principle is not to do harm. One should observe the golden middle everywhere. One thing cannot be put on the other here," she said.

Vasilyeva also said journalists often ask her about her patriotic convictions. "What do journalists draw this conclusion from? From my public lectures. But when I speak about patriotism, I speak sincerely, it's my inner conviction and I have never made a secret of it. I see patriotism as the national idea of our state," she said.

According to earlier reports, Vasilyeva defended a thesis entitled "The Soviet State and Patriotic Activities of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Years of the Great Patriotic War" in 1990 and a doctoral thesis entitled "Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet State Policies in 1943-1948" in 1999.

In 1991-2002, Vasilyeva worked at the Center of the History of religion and Church of the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In 2002, she became head of the Department of religion studies at the Russian Academy of Public Service under the President of the Russian Federation. She is a member of the Council in charge of the preparation of programs on Russian History under the Russian Education and Science Ministry and a member of the Commission on the Affairs of Religious Associations under the Russian government. She is the author of some 150 pieces of research work, including seven monographs.

In the presidential administration, Vasilyeva was deputy head of the directorate on public projects.