Norway’s education ministry is urging all schools around the country to offer religious services to their students before the Christmas holidays, or an alternative for students who don’t want to take part in Norwegian (Lutheran) Church services.
“It’s great that so many schools already offer students a visit to church in connection with Christmas,” Education Minister Jan Tore Sanner of the Conservative Party told news bureau NTB. “The Christian tradition and cultural heritage has a natural place in the schools, and a church service can be a fine way to experience it.”
Sanner’s promotion of schools literally taking students to church comes as the conservative government coalition is negotiating with the Christian Democrats party, in the hopes it will join the coalition and finally give the government a majority in Parliament.
His proposal met immediate opposition, not least from the secular Human Ethics Federation, which expressed disappointment that the government is recommending that schools offer church services.