Skip to main content

Minister gives blessing to Orthodox RE course


education minister Vladimir Filippov is allowing schools to teach a religious education course devised by the Orthodox Church.

The Orthodox culture course, to be included in the basic curriculum, will be the first non-secular RE course to be approved for use throughout Russia.

Church-based RE courses are taught in some schools, but Mr Filippov's approval of the 30-page course, written by senior Orthodox clergy, provides a national framework.

The clergy, who have clashed with education officials over the introduction of church-based studies, welcomed the move.

Kiprian Yashchenko, dean of teacher-training at a Moscow theological institute, and one of the authors of the new course, said the decision marked the education ministry's acceptance of a church role in RE.

Authors of the course say that although written from a church standpoint, it contains no instruction in ritual and is designed to be taught by ordinary teachers.

The education ministry suggests that the course be taught once a week at primary schools and twice a week at secondaries.

A ministry spokesman said the course had to be optional. "Russia is a multinational country with citizens of many different cultural and religious backgrounds. Russia has deep Orthodox roots, so this course is relevant to RE studies, but is only optional."

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you