Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Negative Role of Religion in the Balkans, continued

This story is depressingly predictable, given the track record of religious institutions in the region:

Croat Nurseries 'Should Teach Catholicism'

While I understand that the tradition of official state religions is well-entrenched in Europe and not peculiar to the Balkans, this intrusion of the Church into tax-supported state institutions ought to be opposed by any defender of secular democratic values. Given the role played by religious institutions in promoting and enabling national conflict in the region, this is especially true in this region.

Most troubling is this quote:

"Brankica Blazevic from the National Catholicism Office told Novi list that, in case there are non-Catholic children in a certain kindergarten group, “they should be moved to another group”."

This promotion of religiously-based segregation (especially troubling when one reflects that religious and national identity are tightly interwoven in the Balkans) should be vigorously resisted. Croatia has shown some troubling tendencies towards embracing, rather than rejecting, it's ultra-nationalist recent past; and we all know how events in Croatia and Serbia influence events and society in Bosnia.

1 comment:

Owen said...

Not just in the Balkans. In spite of the ethical and moral focus that a religious education can provide, the existence of a religiously segregated educational system certainly contributed to the political divisions in Northern Ireland and the perversion of ethics and morality that was the result.