Brazil’s top court al­lows state schools to teach re­li­gion

Medicine Hat News - - FAITH -

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.

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