From Iceland — Church and School Proposal Gets Re-Working

Church and School Proposal Gets Re-Working

Published November 4, 2010

A Reykjavík city council proposal concerning church activities in play schools and primary schools has been given a language re-working, and has been sent to other committees for final approval.
As reported, the original proposal was intended to restrict church officials from visiting schools for the purpose of proselytizing. However, conservatives and many church officials felt the language was too vague, with some going so far as to contend schools could ban Christmas celebrations. The Bishop of Iceland accused the city’s Human Rights Committee – who originally drafted the proposal – of “prejudice and opposition to faith, especially Christianity.”
The proposal was then withdrawn, and there have been some changes made to its text, Vísir reports.
A new clause was added that specifically protects “songs, dances, games, and crafts” that are considered a part of Iceland’s cultural heritage in play schools, primary schools, and after-school activity centres, which are run by the city.
The majority of the Human Rights Committee approved the proposal, and have sent it off to the committees of sports, culture, after-school activities and welfare. There, the proposal may undergo further changes.
The conservatives were the only party opposed to the new proposal’s passage, who recommended calling together a larger council consisting of schools, parents, religious officials and experts. This counterproposal was rejected by the Human Rights Committee majority of the Best Party, the Social Democrats, and the Leftist-Greens.
The final version of the proposal is still pending.

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