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Religious Instruction in State Schools.

Should religious instruction be permitted in New Zealand State Schools?

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The vote is already over! It ended on Wednesday, 30.April 2014 (00:00).

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The following letter was written by a member of the Secular Education Network to the Minister of Education recommending repeal of section 78 of the education act that permits schools to run religious instruction.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to the Ministry in regard to clause 78 of the Education Act (1964) that allows religious instruction to take place in state primary schools. Religious instruction(RI), however well intended, creates a discriminatory environment in the classroom and the school as a whole. Our children have first-hand experience of how divisive and prejudicial an influence RI has in school and I ask that the clause be repealed.

Read more: Letter to the Minister

John Banks recently said on Radio Rhema that he believes in the literal truth of the Genesis Story. Some have questioned whether this is appropriate for the Associate Minister of Education. The implied question is, "should a persons religious belief determine whether they can hold office?" Clearly we live in a free country, and everyone is entitled to freedom of religion. As a spokesperson for the Secular Education Network it would be hypocritical in the extreme to suggest that we should discriminate against people of the basis of faith.

Read more: Charter Schools and Religion

You may have thought that public schools in New Zealand do not include religious indoctrination. The fact is that over 40% of public primary schools run religious instruction classes run by outside volunteers from churches.

Read more: Get The Facts

The Secular Education Network commends the Churches Education Commission for making clear its policy on informed consent. The CEC recently updated its web site to include a statement about informed consent.


Read more: CEC On Informed Consent

Press Release from the Secular Party of Australia

Governments should not promote religions in the minds of children at taxpayer expense. The Secular Party thus welcomes the finding of High Court that the Commonwealth's funding of the National Schools Chaplaincy Program is unconstitutional.


Read more: Australian High Court: No Chaplains

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