No more religion in school?

Tomatoes, potatoes, cabbages, fruit and bread: harvest thanksgiving is now celebrated in churches with a colorful variety of foods. The elementary school students were prepared for this day in religious education classes. They therefore know exactly what the festival is all about and why christians all over the world commemorate god's sacrifice on this day.

But according to a recent survey by the opinion institute yougov, the majority of germans are calling for the abolition of religious education. In its place, they were given a lesson in values. Religion has no place in education, is how the results can be summarized.

State and church

But it is not that easy. "There is a concordat, a contract between church and state", says school district director ulrich lohr.
This contract includes, among other things, compulsory religious instruction. That's why bavaria still offers denomination-based religious education. However, every schoolchild also has the option of going to ethics classes. In addition to information about the various religions, the focus here is on the basis of social coexistence. Nevertheless: "many decide in favor of religious education."

It's especially popular in elementary schools, and the children really enjoy it," says kehl, says lohr. He knows this from many conversations with parents and teachers. Here, too, it is a matter of values education. "A biblically based image of values is imparted", emphasizes the forchheim pastor P. Heinz weierstrab.
Since religion is a subject taught in schools, there must be a choice between religion classes and ethics classes. The children's bible days, which are offered regularly in three of his church congregations, were used by many children. This shows a crude interest in the stories of the old and new testaments and reinforces the statement of the school district director lohr.

The fact that the situation is different among young people is a challenge for religion teachers. You have the challenge of continuing to get young people excited about religion. Almost everyone who works with young people also knows their question about god and the meaning of life. These are questions of faith that are answered in the parish and in the church, but also in religious education.

Opinion in the teaching staff is probably as divided as it is in society as a whole. Half of the teachers in eggolsheim think that religious instruction makes sense, while the other half think that it would also be possible to teach values. Personally, there are serious reasons for andreas kehl, principal of the eggolsheim elementary school, to stop teaching religion. "We live in a christian culture with values that have been imparted through christian values education, emphasizes kehl. This also includes traditions that would otherwise certainly be lost. He is a cosmopolitan, but one must not forget where one comes from. "You can think about whether it needs to be graded." he responds to the demand for the abolition of religious education with a counter-demand: "many talk about abolishing religious education, but no one talks about abolishing holidays.

On all saints' day, everyone likes to stay at home", says kehl. Whoever demands this should go to work on every holiday; the same applies to people who leave the church.

Fundamental basis

Until last year, two schools in forchheim, the martin elementary school and the adalbert stifter elementary school, had islam classes. The corresponding religion teacher is missing this year, so the lessons are also cancelled.

But with regard to the survey on the abolition of religious instruction, school district director ulrich lohr knows of another development: "many who have left the church decide that their children should nevertheless attend christian religious instruction.", informs lohr.
And florian sassik from weibenohe, who was ordained as a deacon a week ago and teaches religion at schools himself, sees the religious education as a fundamental basis for interpersonal coexistence: "if you kept to the ten commandments, everything would work out."