Azerbaijan’s State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations opposes religious education in the country’s secondary schools, the committee deputy chairman, Gunduz Ismayilov, told APA commenting on various proposals concerning the teaching of religion in schools as a separate subject.
In accordance with Azerbaijan’s legislation, the state educational system is separated from religion, Ismayilov said, noting that religious education in the country’s secondary schools is out of question.
“…but familiarization with religious studies, religious-cognitive and religious-philosophical subjects, the basics of holy books can be included in the curriculum of state educational institutions,” he added.
According to Ismayilov, analysis of the religious situation in Azerbaijan and the process of religionization and the experience of secular countries confirm that teaching young people religious knowledge is very important.
“If religious knowledge is not taught in a right place or by right persons, radical and sectarian religious groups will strive to fill these gaps. Thus, giving the youth information about religions, especially Islam and its essence in educational institutions is very important,” he said.
The deputy chairmen stressed the need to expand the information on religions contained in textbook. “Currently, the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations, within its authority, is cooperating with relevant bodies in this direction,” he added.