Religious Instruction, Religious Symbols, and Prayer in Public Schools in Europe

The role of religion in public education—an important topic in studies of diversity and education, given the increasing plurality of European societies—has been seen rather differently in the various European states. In some states, education is not only provided directly by the state but sometimes given on behalf of the state through private religious bodies, or there are special relationships with churches or other religious organizations. In such systems, religious education is likely to be confessional in tone, and it is more likely that religious symbols can be worn or displayed and that prayer and worship are included as part of school life. In other systems, religious education is more likely to focus on education about religions, and the use of religious symbols and prayer ...

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