Majority Supports Religious Studies in Schools, Study Finds

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
12/10/2013 1:23 PM
Category: Society

A study by the Estonian Institute of Human Rights and polling firm Turu-uuringute AS found that 68 percent of Estonians support including religious studies in public schools' curriculum, while 25 percent opposed the idea.

“The support for religious studies came as a surprise to experts. The topic has been heavily criticized before,” the researchers said when releasing the report today.

They said that awareness of diversity has increased recently, as people are traveling more.

The study also found that 64 percent of respondents said that the values of one religion should not be dominant in Estonia, and 91 percent said that the nation has no problems with religious freedom.

On the other hand, 4 percent of people said they felt they had to hide their religious preferences.

Slightly more than half of respondents said that society should be based on Christian values, which experts found less surprising, saying that Estonia has a strong Christian background.

According to the 2011 census, only 29 percent of Estonians said they had any religious affiliation, with 16 percent opting for Orthodox Christianity and 10 percent for Lutheranism, which saw its follower numbers decrease by nearly a third in 10 years.

Slightly over half said they felt no religious affiliation at all and 14 percent declined to answer the census question.


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