Churches protest against textbook

June 29th, 2008 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, June 29 (IANS) The Sunday morning assembly of laity in Catholic Churches across Kerala became a venue of protest against the controversial Class VII social studies textbook, which they claim teaches children atheism and communism. According to the Catholic Church, the book indoctrinates children with atheistic thoughts and a communist ideology.

The new textbook was issued by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Democratic Front government this academic year.

A pastoral letter issued by head of Syro Malabar Church Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil was read in churches under the Ernakulam archdiocese.

The letter said that the church can not subscribe to an educational reform intended to cast both God and religion out of people’s lives.

In churches under various other diocese, circulars and pamphlets issued by the bishops concerned against the textbook were read.

“The church will continue its protest till the government withdraws the book,” Stephen Alathara, a priest and the spokesperson of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) told IANS.

As part of the campaign against the textbook many churches Sunday held special prayers and meetings to enlighten the laity on the dangers posed by the new textbook.

The KCBC spokesperson said: “All the diocese will observe a protest day against the textbook Monday.”

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