Parents associations at all levels of education and local clergy on the island of Patmos gathered together and decided to revolt against the Education Ministry in Athens.
“We declare that we refuse to have our children taught the lesson of Religion according to the new directives of the Education Ministry,” they said in a resolution.
The teaching material with regards to structure, philosophy and purpose was “against the Constitution and Greek Orthodoxy” and furthermore not “pedagogical” they claimed.
The new “multi-religion” form of the teaching program was “against the Constitution” because they address Greek-Orthodox students. “The principle of Equality and Freedom of Religion of Orthodox students was violated as the Orthodox students will not be taught according to the religious and philosophical believes of their parents,” they said among others.
The books contain the teaching of many religions, (polytheistic and multi-religious), which are considered at the same level with the Greek orthodoxy. “This material with its structure and purpose sows confusion and doubts about the Truth of the Orthodox Faith into the religious consciousness of the children. Criticizing the ecumenical approach of Faith, the local community of Patmos stresses that the new books “do not make any distinction between orthodoxy, sects and religions” and they do not present “the true nature of Jesus Christ.”
Anti-pedagogic: “Historicity is eliminated in the presentation of the themes, resulting in the creation of a pedagogical, theological and cognitive confusion in the minds of the students. Although the title of the teaching course bear the title “Religion”, especially in primary education, pupils do not have the sufficient ability to accept the knowledge data.”
The parents associations and the local clergy underlined that they took this decision out of “responsibility for our children and with respect to the “heavy heritage of our ancestors.”
They call on the Education Ministry to “immediately withdraw the news books” and “restore the Orthodox character and approach of the Religion course.”
According to Patmostimes.gr, present at the gathering were also a Philology professor at the Athens University and a Doctor of Theology.
Religion courses in Greek schools recently underwent a total overhaul as the Education Ministry decided to include other religions and abandon the catechetical form of the courses. The changes were made with the consent of the Greek Church.
PS Instead of publishing meaningless resolutions, they can apply to Supreme Court and challenge the issue at least in terms of Constitutional compatibility.