Letter: Religious education offers a touchstone for faith

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The Independent Online
Sir: I refer to Angela Phillips's brave open letter to Baroness Cox. It is indeed intolerable that in a secular and multi-ethnic country such as Britain the Government should impose by law and directive the compulsory teaching of one particular religion and participation in Christian acts of worship in schools. This reactionary step has been taken by a backward-looking ('back to basics') government that cannot even claim to be representative of the will of the electorate.

As a former teacher and (now) school governor, I have taken part in many 'religious' assemblies and RE lessons. All too often assemblies have been uninspiring observances, make-believe rituals that staff and children have had to sit through because the law requires it. With nearly a third of the people in this country having no connection with any church or religion, and with only a minority attending church, compulsory religion in schools is a dishonesty that nobody who has the moral welfare of children at heart should support. Committed Christians should be the first to demand that the teaching of their religion should be left to them and their churches.

Yours faithfully,

JURGEN SCHWIENING

Market Bosworth, Leicestershire

31 January

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