A Christian preschool in Sweden has stopped all faith-related activities, including saying “Amen,” Breitbart reports.
After an inspection of the supervisors from the district, a Salvation Army-run preschool has been forbidden to have prayer time, say grace at mealtimes, talk about the Bible, and even say “Amen.” The school leaders said such activities violate the country’s Education Act.
The Education Act bans confessional elements in educational activities. It also gives students the choice to participate or not in such activities.
“It’s sad because grace is a tradition, but the rhyme is also nice and it allows the kids to choose to whom and what they want to give thanks,” said Maartensson.
As an alternative, the preschool’s manager Britt Marie Martensson decided to give thanks before a meal by singing a rhyming song. Instead of letting the children say grace at mealtimes, the song gives thanks to the sun and rain.
“It’s sad because grace is a tradition, but the rhyme is also nice and it allows the kids to choose to whom and what they want to give thanks,” said Martensson.
Teachers are also prohibited from doing “Bible Snacktimes.” In this activity, teachers and students talk about the Bible while eating their snacks.
Umeå Municipality’s preschool strategy planner, Pian Rosell, admitted that there could be many interpretations of the Education Act. She explained that confessional elements can be included in religious schools, but should not be included in any educational activities. However, the law is difficult to apply at preschools.
“It isn’t as hard to distinguish between activities which are educational and ones which aren’t in elementary schools, because teaching happens in class, whereas when it comes to kindergartens it can be difficult to tell,” she said.
Breitbartcom. (2017). Breitbart. http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/06/26/christian-preschool-banned-saying-amen/
Lifesitenewscom. (2017). LifeSiteNews. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/christian-preschool-switches-to-thanking-the-sun-and-rain-before-meals-afte