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Christianity prioritised in Swedish schools

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Christianity prioritised in Swedish schools
Education minister Jan Björklund
14:18 CEST+02:00
Sweden's schools agency wants all religions to receive equal treatment when taught in Swedish schools, but the government maintains that Christianity should continue to receive special treatment.

“The view of National Agency for Education (Skolverket) is still that all of the five major world religions should be treated equally, and therefore the government is now steamrolling the agency,” education minister Jan Björklund told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

Last year the agency was tasked with developing new curriculum for all subjects taught in Swedish primary and middles schools.

When it came to courses on religion, the agency proposed scrapping texts which gave Christianity special treatment and suggested that all religions should be treated equally in class.

The proposal was roundly criticised when it was presented last spring, including from Björklund. The schools agency made a number of changes, but apparently they revisions didn't go far enough in the eyes of the education minister.

Last Thursday, the government approved a new curriculum which will come into effect for the autumn term of 2011. And in the new curriculum, the government simply rolled over the education agency's proposals and ordered that Christianity should maintain its special status in classes on religion.

“It's not that the Christian religion is better than any other, rather it has to do with the enormous influence Christianity has had in our country, and still does have in our part of the world,” Björklund told SvD.

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