When a poem becomes a prayer

THE content of the article on the Hindu god Shiva (TES Teacher, June 21) is of interest, but my concern is with the insert at the end of the article, which is entitled "Lesson Ideas". As a practising Christian, I find the following sentence extremely disturbing:

"Write a poem to him (presumably Shiva) asking for his help, and using the name you have chosen." A petition to an alien deity asking for help seems to me to constitute prayer. In my opinion this, in the privileged situation of the classroom, invites children at key stage 2 to break the first commandment.

While I am aware that, according to the national curriculum for RE, a knowledge of other religions should be made available to children, I do not consider an invitation to prayer to an alien god either necessary or indeed desirable.

Barbara Bond 103 Stanbury Road Haworth Park Hull

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