Sofia, February 11, 2019
The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has called for an overhaul of the government’s National Strategy for the Child 2019-2030, arguing for a ban on abortion and for compulsory religious education in schools and the removal of sex education from the curriculum.
The strategy was posted on the government’s strategy.by website for comments from January until February 8. The Synod published their comments on the patriarchate’s website which were then added to the governmental website, reports the Sofia Globe.
In taking the Orthodox stand against abortion, the Synod said that banning such murder would allow for society and children in particular to have a full chance at existence and “blessed progress,” giving society the chance to overcome its demographic crisis.
Abortion is “unworthy of the Bulgarian nation,” the bishops’ statement reads.
The bishops also called for religious education in schools, saying:
Religious education in kindergartens and schools educates not only the minds but also the hearts of the smallest members of our society, which means that religious activities (in particular: Orthodox Christianity) reveal to children the sacred secret of this, that man is created in the image of God, and that to educate means to develop not only intellectually, but also to be perfected in faith, hope, love, charity and godliness. This is and should be the highest goal of any education, of any education-form, that man should be likened to the image of his Creator,
The Synod also voiced its opposition to the teaching of sex education in schools, calling for students to instead learn about true love, and not “sexuality that is taken out of the context of love,” and that abstinence is the best contraceptive. Such education should not be left in the hands of those who push an LGBT agenda, the bishops write.
“Children’s rights, parents’ rights, and the protection of the traditional family have a direct bearing on national security, state prosperity and eternal salvation in God,” the bishops also said.
The bishops also addressed issues of child violence and drug abuse, protecting parental rights, and the elimination of familial policies imported from outside Bulgaria that are impractical for Bulgarian society.
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