Christianity studies introduced into Israeli schools
Starting from this school year, high school students will be able to take matriculation exam in 'Christian religion.' Program currently open for Arab students only, but Education Ministry says will consider allowing Jewish pupils to take it as well
While Muslim students will be allowed to take the Christian studies program, Jewish pupils are at this point prohibited from doing so.
However, officials at the Education Ministry said that in the future, Jewish students may also be allowed to take the course. Chairman of the Pedagogical Branch at the Ministry, Prof. Anat Zohar, said that the program was only currently introduced into the education system's curriculum, and that the issue of offering the program to Jewish students "will be thoroughly examined and resolved in due course."
The new matriculation program was designed as part of the compulsory religion studies in schools. A special committee that included representatives of all the Christian factions in Israel formulated the program, intended for 10th-12th grade students.
The studies include a biography of Jesus and chapters dedicated to the church's structure, rules of conduct while inside a church, and prayers.
The Education Ministry said that "religion studies are divided according to sectors, so that the Jewish sector studies Judaism, the Muslim sector – Islam, and the Christian Arab sector – Christianity."