Some Australian state schools are cutting religious instruction from their classrooms and replacing it with classes on ‘respectful relationships.’
The new classes will focus on “global cultures, traditions, ethics and faith,” Christian Today reports.
Education minister James Merlino is in favor of the new classes.
“This new content helps all school students, regardless of their background or faith, to understand the world around them and the ideas and values that shape that world," he said.
Christian groups, however, are not in favor of the decision.
A spokesman from Access Ministries stated, "nobody has seen this new curriculum as yet, and I'm not sure how a primary school teacher will teach well and capably the basic beliefs of the five major religions."
Formerly, when Australian schools taught religious education, about 20 percent of students participated, while the rest of the class would engage in other activities, such as reading.
Many parents were upset that the students who did not participate in the religious education classes were essentially losing school time that could have been used to learn other things.
Fiona Richardson, minister for the prevention of family violence, stated that the new curriculum would address gender inequality issues, as well as help to prevent family violence, and help children appreciate diversity.
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Publication date: August 21, 2015