On September 1, in Belarusian schools introduce a new subject "Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture. Orthodox shrines of the Eastern Slavs." Now the Ministry of Education approved curriculum for each class, the first to the 11th.
The Minister of Education of Belarus Alexander Radkov assured that it is not a compulsory subject, and electives:
"We gave the nod to the fact that there was such an elective course on the choice, knowing that Orthodoxy — it's part of our culture, with its own history, with its own characteristics, for its beauty. That is, it should be studied. But by choice, not necessarily for everyone. Here were operating time, and we went to meet him, knowing that it is not the law of God is not a religion, it is the study of the history of religion, its formation, the Orthodox culture.
Reporter: "So far, only the Orthodox?"
"Yes, so far only the Orthodox."
Development of the new course was conducted at an accelerated pace, now it is in the stage of approval — the head of the department of education and catechesis of the Minsk diocese Fr Alexander Shimbalev:
"The program is prepared, we will affirm. This is not a required course, but at the request of parents, children and school administration. This may not be in all schools, but only where there are willing to learn and to teach."
Belarus is a multi-religious country, according to various estimates, the Orthodox call themselves 70 — 80%, Roman Catholic — 20 — 30% are citizens of other faiths. Why are entered only "Fundamentals of Orthodoxy"? The representative of the Catholic Church priest Victor Mihevich opined:
"As a priest, I believe that some foundations of religion should be taught in school. This is only a plus when the children from the outset faced with Christian values. But as a Catholic priest I am, of course, like to the children in the schools, too, have direct access of Catholic church, about the Catholic culture, traditions.'s no secret that atheistic education does not bring much good. At our country as it will go further — this is a question for the officials and the Catholic dioceses as they agree among themselves. Because at the moment the entrance to the school Catholic priest denied ".
Political scientist Vladimir Mackiewicz notes two aspects: one is associated with the building, the structure of the Belarusian schools, and the second — with the freedom of religion:
"Let the Orthodox confession in Belarus is quite large, but there are both Catholics and Protestants there, albeit a little, but remained the indigenous Muslims, Jews, and so on. None of these confessions are not allowed in school. Though there are many people who could to teach. But this is not, is not observed, and naadvorot, the opposite is true when people come in and try to help resolve any issues with religious affiliation, they are not allowed. This extra push and violating the freedom of religion, and the freedom to determine schools students and teachers. "
Teach "Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture" will be teachers who have graduated from the Institute of Theology. Such specialists are also prepared in Pedagogical University and refresher courses. Will invite and Orthodox priests. On the question will have time to prepare, in an amount of teachers for the new academic year, the Rev. Alexander Shimbalev replied:
"By no means is it can not be introduced everywhere on September 1. This is a long process."
Take part in the discussion:
"Fundamentals of Orthodoxy" in schools: Pros and Cons