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Should Religion be Learnt In Schools?

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School is the foundation of one’s future, because at the early stages of your life you have the capacity to grasp things easily. What should be learnt at school? Besides subjects, as a human, a student should learn how to live a right and beautiful life in this world. There is an argument: why religion should be learnt at school? In this following essay, I try to analyze the arguments and facts about the issue.

Starting with the religion itself, what is religion? The word ‘religion’ comes from Latin word religare, which means “to bind”. It is related to Latin word regula, and it is the root of English word rule.(www.tasteeverything.com ). So, why religion was needed? It is a very argumentative question of especially the modern society. If we take a look at ancient times, where there were wars because of religion. I wouldn’t say it “religion”, because people prayed for almost everything (from simple stones that lie on the ground to the stars in the sky). And every believer supported his/her arguments of their ‘divinity’. So, why religion is needed, if it cause a conflict? Religion is actually a provider of peace and pure life. Prophets throughout the history until the last Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) were chosen by Creator to serve as examples of ideal human behavior. Religion is the purpose of living in the right way.

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The question is should religion be taught in school. First, take a look at religious education curriculum worldwide. Countries with an official religion tend to provide instructions in the faith to their students. For instance, Islam is the part of education of children in most Arab countries, in Pakistan religious and moral education is compulsory to Muslim students from an early age. The basis of Orthodox is taught in Greece at school. Religious Education (RE) is taught at state schools in England (www.netivist.com).

On the one hand, there are many advantages of gaining religious education. 1) studying religion can help to explain mysteries of life. Religion helps in explaining the complicated issues of life that are not addressed in other disciplines. For instance, major argumentative disputations such as life after death, miraculous occurrence, eternal living, hell, and heaven can be explained by religion. Science and other disciplines are not able to explain these things, yet they are important items in religion. Furthermore, in line with Vermeer (2012) views, religious studies help to enhance learner’s critical thinking. It broadens a person’s vision about life, because it goes beyond the present life. If a person realizes that there is a life after death, there is a heaven and a hell, he/she leads a good life (with patience, satisfaction, abstention). It means a person lives a pure life. 2) Religious study allows for self-knowledge and understanding of others. According to estimates, there are roughly 4200 religions. Because of terrorism, many people, especially in western countries think all Muslims are terrorists.(social experiments in US, London, Russia) why? Because of they only know about “ISIS”, not about Islam. According to Adherents in 2020, 24% of world’s population is Muslims. Are they being isolated because of the wrong concept of Islam? For instance in China, “Hundreds of ethnic Uighur Muslims spend their days in changing their beliefs by force (indoctrination program), where they are forced to listen to lectures, sing hymns praising the Chinese Communist Party and write “self-criticism” essays, according to detainees who have been released. The purpose is to eliminate any devotion of Islam.” (New York Times, 2018). The Constitution guarantees each of us religious freedom: the right to believe what you want, or not to believe at all. Religious studies allow not only for deepening a person’s own self-knowledge, but it also provides the foundational knowledge and opportunity to understand other people’s worldviews and religious beliefs. Kathy McLinn writing for Edutopia points out that religious studies helps with “Finding correlations, connections, relationships, and causation in relation to religions an essential component in understanding much of what has occurred in history, politically, scientifically, artistically, literature, personal relationships and economics. In order to study a culture, history of a group, it is impossible studying them without knowing their beliefs. And a group’s fundamental beliefs show cultural and other beliefs and the way of life they led”. Religion opens a way to choose a better life, it is not only about following the rules of a particular religion, it is about using them. It means, to by understanding and respecting others, doing good deeds, being kind and etc. As the world is becoming more and more globalized, people travel all around the world for different reasons (business, education, adventure, etc.). If a traveler has basic concepts of religion and culture of other nations, it is easy to adapt to a new environment, to the new atmosphere. Religion is essentially interdisciplinary. Religion teaches how to live in the world, and no other subject can view more than history, people, and culture about how the world has been changing.

In conclusion, no one can be forced to believe in the religion, but it doesn’t mean to study it. There is a difference between ‘studying religion’ and ‘studying about religion’. By studying about religion at school, from elementary school, they learn tolerance. It is one of the most important properties that are needed not at school, but in one’s future career as well. Religious study learns nation’s origin and history of the people. As we live in an independent globalized world, and every one of us have a right to believe in religion which we want, we should be allowed to follow it completely as well. For instance, in most countries, Muslims are not allowed to pray at educational institutions, to wear religious clothes, because there is a fear that they might be extremists. To abandon these thoughts, people should know what Islam is actually. The purpose of learning religious at school is not to forget who we are. As human beings, living on the same planet, sharing one common ground, should respect each other’s choice and understand each other.

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Should Religion be Learnt In Schools? (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/should-religion-be-learnt-in-schools/
“Should Religion be Learnt In Schools?” Edubirdie, 24 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/should-religion-be-learnt-in-schools/
Should Religion be Learnt In Schools? [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/should-religion-be-learnt-in-schools/> [Accessed 3 Oct. 2022].
Should Religion be Learnt In Schools? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 24 [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/should-religion-be-learnt-in-schools/
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