of the Coordinating Group for Religion in Education in Europe
adopted by CoGREE steering group Crêt Berard 20 January 2007
Education and Religion in a European Context
A. Starting points
- Co-existence among people from different cultural backgrounds is clearly dominated by their religious and non-religious worldviews. Becoming acquainted with diversity is a matter of learning and should be facilitated by the public education system.
- Awareness of the importance of religion both for individual human development and for common life in society has become increasingly significant during the past few years.
B. Education and Religion
- Education that takes no account of the religious explanation of human and spiritual experience of humanity is ipso facto incomplete.
- Concepts and ideas aimed at the development of the education systems of Europe must take account of religious education. This implies the existence of a dialogue with the religious communities in this field.
C. What Religious Education can offer
- Religious education is of relevance to the educational system in general and it is observed in different ways according to the specific national and regional context and its history.
- Religious education is an essential factor in any education that is designed to produce autonomous and active people. It should be part of general education and vocational training.
- Religious education as an ordinary school subject in most countries of Europe offers a substantive contribution to education for democratic citizenship. Education for tolerance and peace is incomplete without religious education.
- Religious education in all schools respects the basic right of freedom of religion which includes freedom to have no religion and freedom to have religion.