Brazil’s top court allows state schools to teach religion
SAO PAULO Brazil’s Supreme Court voted narrowly Wednesday to authorize state schools to promote specific religions.
Chief Justice Carmen Lucia made the deciding vote in favour of so-called confessional schools, at which teachers will be permitted to promote their religious beliefs during class. In non-confessional schools, teachers can discuss only the history and social impact of religion.
The 6-5 decision by Brazil’s top court also states that students cannot be compelled to attend religion classes and that they must have their parents’ permission to participate.
Brazil’s constitution says religion classes should be available for pupils between the ages of 9 and 14, but it doesn’t specify what should be taught.
Several private schools and universities in Brazil have links to the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical faiths.