News Brief

Russian Schools May Soon Introduce a New Subject: Orthodox Culture

In the officially-secular Russia, mixing religion and state education is unconstitutional, but now Russia’s agency in charge of curriculums is proposing introducing Orthodoxy to the classrooms.

The agency, called the Federal Association for Teaching and Methodology, said that the subject called Orthodox Culture will simply teach morality and Russian traditions in schools and is not in contradiction to the constitution.

If the proposal goes through, lessons covering Orthodox Christian morality and history will become compulsory starting with the first grade and from ninth grade will be offered as an elective subject.

The proposal is expected to pass according to several experts in the agency who spoke to the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant. The authors of the proposal say they are striving to establish Orthodox Christian values in students and lesson plans include topics like “the moral culture of an Orthodox family,” “the moral and cultural characteristics of a Christian warrior,” and “the corrupted interpretations of biblical texts in the literature of destructive sects.”

By ninth grade, students should be versed in the decisions made at the seven Church synods, be familiar with the Orthodox calendar—which is 13 days behind the more widely used Gregorian calendar—and be capable of describing different types of church bells.