Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
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#6 - JRL 7040
Minister says religion not to be taught in Russia's schools

MOSCOW, Jan 29 /Prime-TASS/ -- Russian Education Minister Vladimir Filippov told the Echo Moscow radio station Wednesday that "religion should not be taught in Russia's schools."

"Religion should be taught in specialized schools. Only culture should be taught in mainstream schools," he added.

Since Russia is a multinational state, it would be reasonable to write a "textbook that could be used to teach children about Russia's different faiths -- Orthodox Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam," he said.

Filippov added that the Education Ministry has not officially approved the textbook, "Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture."

He said that "Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture" could appear in some schools because until the summer of 2002 "anybody could write a textbook, and any school could buy it."

A new law states that schools can now use only those textbooks that have been officially approved by Russia's Education Ministry, he noted.

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