Pressing issues concerning the development of religious education in the Russian Federation were discussed in the Federation Council at a meeting of the Council on Interethnic Relations and Cooperation with Religious Associations on July 12, 2019. The meeting was chaired by Oleg Melnichenko, Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on Federal Structure, Regional Policy, Local Governance and Affairs of the North. The meeting was attended by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church, Metropolitan Korniliy.
Officials are confident that religious education will help strengthen interethnic and inter-religious peace and harmony. According to the legislation enforced in the country, religious associations have the ability to instruct those willing in the basics of their religion, to teach the fundamentals of their religion as part of the student course “Fundamentals of Religious Cultures and Secular Ethics”, and to talk about religious doctrine during theological lessons at public and private universities. Authorities view the next stage in the development of religious education as being the organisation of inter-university interaction and networked cooperation between secular and spiritual educational organisations at all levels.
Metropolitan Korniliy in his speech drew attention to the substantial aspect of the educational process as a whole.
“In modern conditions, it is imperative and, I hope, possible to find a harmonious combination of our traditional spiritual foundation with the new conditions in which we live. It is important to find solutions that will allow us to maintain and reproduce ourselves in the face of modern challenges <…> The reckless copying of Western models of education has led to serious damage within Russian secondary and higher schools, which had long been considered among the best in the world,” – the Primate of the Church emphasised