New at Israeli schools: Christianity classes

Sunday, October 08, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Israel’s Education Ministry is contemplating adding a new program to be included in the matriculation exams for Jewish students: A study of Christianity. Currently only Arab Christian students are allowed to take these courses, but in the future Jewish students will be able to take the courses as well.

Currently, according to the Education Ministry’s religion studies program, only Christian students are allowed to study Christianity, Muslim students are allowed to study Islam, and Jewish students are allowed to study Judaism. However, this policy is about to change, while at first, only Arab students, Muslims and Christians, will be allowed to take the Christianity classes, allowing the Jewish students to take the course only at a point sometime in the future.

According to the Pedagogical department of the Education Ministry, the new program would be available only to non-Jewish students, and only after the program is tested and proven will the courses be offered to Jewish students as well.

The course in Christianity will fulfill the religion studies requirements in the national matriculation program for high school students and will be offered to students in grades 10 to 12.

The course material was structured by a special committee representing all factions of Christianity in Israel and will include chapters from the life of Jesus, the structure of the church, prayer, and rules of conduct while inside a church.

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