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The secular Sweden Posted by on Aug 9, 2010 in Culture

In public Swedish school children do not study religion more than the basics of Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity and very shortly about Buddhism, comparing and contrasting the differences between them. No preference can be made by the teacher to which religion is more superior or better. The point of the subject is to equip the junior high school students to be able to have their own opinions on what religion is, which one suits them or if they don’t believe at all. No priests are present, it is normal teachers, just the same as any other subject. You could almost think of it as; not every Home Economics class will have a chef as their teacher just because they are learning about food.

Even though the subject is called Religion, what it really is is comparative religion. And when I say all schools I mean almost all schools. Because there are some private muslim schools that do not follow the general way of doing things. The media and a lot of Swedes along with it are highly suspicious of these schools, wondering if there is some sort of religious propaganda going on behind closed walls. There has of course been no proof of such going ons.

A couple of years after the second world war there was a political decision made that children had to be informed about the Holocaust. So there was a book put together with pictures from the war, interviews with people and basic facts, all this informing to make sure that nothing like the Holocaust ever happens again. It is up to the teacher to decide if they want to use the book as a part of the comparative religious studies or history. (In Sweden during junior high school you have the same teacher for both of those subjects as well as social studies and geography).

Although lots of Swedes are baptized and confirmed, Sweden is a very secular country. Religion plays a very little role in most Swedes everyday life.

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Comments:

  1. Monise:

    Maybe that’s why Sweden is the way it is today. I couldn’t observe gestures of affection while I was there. They just live for themselves. May God have mercy.

  2. Luke (Sydney):

    Confucianism should do well in Sweden then!

  3. BM:

    @Monise:

    I don’t think you were looking hard enough.

  4. Camilla:

    I think you all should take a look at this site:
    http://guidetoswedes.webs.com/

    it is a very good guide to swedosh beahviour, its about everything from why we stand stil on the escalator on the right side and walk on the left to what monica talks about with affection above.