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In traditional Muslim education, children are taught to read and sometimes speak Arabic and memorize the major suras of the Qur'an.Many countries have state-run schools for this purpose (known as Madrasah Islamiyyah in Arabic; meaning "Islamic school").The free choice of religious education by parents according to their conviction is protected by Convention against Discrimination in Education. Some countries, such as the United States, do not publicly fund religious education nor make it part of compulsory schooling.
Proponents argue that religious beliefs have historically socialized people's behavior and morality.
They feel that teaching religion in school is important to encourage children to be responsible, spiritually sound adults.
After all, these ideas were introduced by a loving and trusted family member — why would they lie? By educating children about the world’s many religions, historical and modern alike, we can show them that each faith is simply one culture’s attempt to explain the unknown.
They can learn about religion from the perspective of an anthropologist, with a proper balance of intrigue and detachment, and gain true insight into the origin of the world’s many belief systems. Mc Afee is a journalist and author of He is also a frequent contributor to American Atheist Magazine.
This kind of religious education has drawn criticism because, it is argued, there is no neutral perspective from which to study religions and any kind of compulsory schooling is likely to impact on the formation of a student's religious identity Since people within a given country often hold varying religious and non-religious beliefs, government-sponsored religious education can be a source of conflict.
Countries vary widely in whether religious education is allowed in government-run schools (often called "public schools").
In America, the most recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 78.4 percent of the 35,000 or more respondents identified specifically as Christians — with only 6.3 percent declaring they were secular and unaffiliated with a religion. The fact remains that people, more often than not, inherit their religious beliefs from parents or childhood mentors.
There is a crucial period in which a child begins to ask questions about life and wonder about the origin of existence and, in a religious family, these questions are typically answered in a religious context.
In Western and secular culture, religious education implies a type of education which is largely separate from academia, and which (generally) regards religious belief as a fundamental tenet and operating modality, as well as a prerequisite for attendance.
The secular concept is substantially different from societies that adhere to religious law, wherein "religious education" connotes the dominant academic study, and in typically religious terms, teaches doctrines which define social customs as "laws" and the violations thereof as "crimes", or else misdemeanors requiring punitive correction.