Athens, August 31, 2022
The Panhellenic Union of Theologians is strongly opposed to the possibility of Orthodox students being exempted from religious courses in school.
The Union characterizes the proposal of the Personal Data Protection Authority (PDPA) as unconstitutional.
By allowing students to be exempted from religious studies by simply informing school authorities, “the Religious Studies Course loses its compulsory status and, for the first time in the country’s education history, it is transformed from compulsory to optional,” the Union writes in its statement published on August 27.
Thus, the Union calls on the Ministry of Education not to implement the PDPA’s opinion, which is says is unconstitutional and a blatant contradiction of the recent decisions of the Council of State related to religious education in public schools.
The Union quotes the Greek constitution, which says that religious education is “a basic mission of the state aimed at the moral, spiritual, professional and physical education of the Greeks, the development of national and religious consciousness, and their development into free and responsible citizens.”
The Union of Theologians also wonders how an independent authority like the PDPA could acquire a superior position to the Greek Constitution and the decisions of the Ministry of Education.
“Where is the democratic order of our state headed?” the Union asks.