SHARE
COPY LINK

EDUCATION

Christianity prioritised in Swedish schools

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.

Christianity prioritised in Swedish schools
Education minister Jan Björklund

“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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

RELIGION

Al-Azhar university calls for Sweden boycott over Koran burning

The Sunni Muslim world's most prestigious educational institution, Al-Azhar in Egypt, has called for the boycott of Swedish and Dutch products after far-right activists destroyed Korans in those countries.

Al-Azhar university calls for Sweden boycott over Koran burning

Al-Azhar, in a statement issued on Wednesday, called on “Muslims to boycott Dutch and Swedish products”.

It also urged “an appropriate response from the governments of these two countries” which it charged were “protecting despicable and barbaric crimes in the name of ‘freedom of expression'”.

Swedish-Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan on Saturday set fire to a copy of the Muslim holy book in front of Turkey’s embassy in Stockholm, raising tensions as Sweden courts Ankara over its bid to join Nato.

EXPLAINED:

The following day, Edwin Wagensveld, who heads the Dutch chapter of the German anti-Islam group Pegida, tore pages out of the Koran during a one-man protest outside parliament.

Images on social media also showed him walking on the torn pages of the holy book.

The desecration of the Koran sparked strong protests from Ankara and furious demonstrations in several capitals of the Muslim world including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry “strongly condemned” the Koran burning, expressing “deep concern at the recurrence of such events and the recent Islamophobic escalation in a certain number of European countries”.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson condemned Paludan’s actions as “deeply disrespectful”, while the United States called it “repugnant”.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Monday said the burning was the work of “a provocateur” who “may have deliberately sought to put distance between two close partners of ours – Turkey and Sweden”.

On Tuesday, Turkey postponed Nato accession talks with Sweden and Finland, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Stockholm for allowing weekend protests that included the burning of the Koran.

SHOW COMMENTS