Orthodox Church expands teaching of religion in public schools



Fifth-graders of 30 Moscow schools, after a year of study of Foundations of Orthodox Culture in the fourth grade, will continue to explore the subject in the fifth grade also, within the framework of a pilot project in the new school year, the chairman of the Department of Religious Education and Catechesis of the Moscow city diocese, Hieromonk Onisim, reported in an interview with RIA Novosti on 6 August.


Foundations of Orthodox Culture is a subject that is included in the school curriculum of the fourth grade.


"In the upcoming academic years in the capital a pilot project (Department of Education) will start and in 30 educational complexes the children will be able to continue the study of the Foundations of Orthodox Culture in the fifth grade also," the representative of RPTsMP said. He said, after an analysis of the results of this experiment, a decision will be made about the advisability of further expansion of the course.


"The church hierarchy has established a task of considering the question of expansion of the course, because after an original acquaintance with Orthodox culture, many families want a continuation. It is difficult to examine such a profound subject in one year," the source noted.


He added that besides the study of Orthodoxy within the framework of the academic curriculum, schoolchildren will participate in various creative competitions: a competition "Hegumen of the Russian Land," devoted to St. Sergius of Radonezh; a competition "Journey in Ancient Rus," devoted to a more profound study of history; and also events in the cycle "St. Vladimir—Baptizer of Rus."


"We should describe and show to youth the meaning of the Orthodox faith, what it includes, and what union with God means, what the way to salvation means, and what in general is the task of the Christian both for one's soul and for the mission in this world," the hieromonk said.


He reported that the artistic works of the winners in the category "Drawing" were exhibited in the Andrei Rublev Museum and the Arkhangelsk estate museum. (tr. by PDS, posted 11 August 2015)

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