Evangelical Christians urge secular education in Ireland
Believers should fund own schools, not State, says Evangelical Alliance Ireland
Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin in April this year in newly co-educational St James primary school, Basin Lane, Dublin. An Education Together primary school is also now running in the area. Photograph: John Mc Elroy
Evangelical Alliance Ireland (EAI) has called for a secular educational system in Irish schools, as proposed by Atheist Ireland.
Commenting on debate prompted by calls from Dr Ali Selim of Dublin’s Islamic Cultural Centre for “a revolution of inclusivity” in Irish schools , EAI has said its position was closer to that of Atheist Ireland.
Responding to the calls by Dr Selim in his book Islam and Education in Ireland, launched in Trinity College last night, Atheist Ireland highlighted the lack of integration and inclusivity in State-funded Muslim schools and called for a secular education system with religion passed on through families, mosques and churches.
EAI executive director Nick Park said “evangelical Christians have often felt alienated by an educational system that they are expected to fund as taxpayers, but which has largely been run by branches of the Catholic Church. For example, the amount of time devoted to Catholic rites of passage such as First Communion creates a dilemma for evangelical parents.
“Should we allow our children to sit through religious activities which are contrary to our beliefs? Or should we ask that our children be exempted? ”