пятница, 24 июля 2009 г.

Medvedev backs plan to start religion courses in schools, assign priests to armed forces

Barvikha, July 22, Interfax - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has supported the idea of introducing a course in religious culture and secular ethics at general schools, and for assigning priests to the army and navy.

Medvedev said at a meeting on Tuesday that he had received letters from the leaders of Russia's main religions, proposing that subjects aimed at the younger generation's spiritual and moral upbringing be introduced at general schools, and priests attached to the army and navy.

"I have made up my mind to support both ideas - the idea of introducing a basic course of religious culture and secular ethics at schools. I also think it worthwhile to assign priests representing Russia's traditional faiths to the armed forces on a permanent basis," Medvedev said.

"I am ready to support both decisions," the president said.

He has offered the teaching of the foundations of religious culture, history of religion, and secular ethics in Russian schools as an experiment.

"I believe it is possible to hold such an experiment in some regions of our country. We are now planning to do it in 18 regions, but this figure may be discussed," Medvedev said.

"Students and their parents should independently choose the subjects," the president said. "It may be the foundations of Orthodox culture or the foundations of Muslim culture, Judaism, or Buddhism. Students and their parents should make independent choices," he said.

"Many people are likely to want to study all religious life in Russia in its entirety. For such students, a general course in the history of major traditional religions represented in our country may be developed," said Medvedev.

The president also said that people who are not religious should have a right to study the foundations of secular ethics.

Photo by the Presidential Press and Information Office

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