Is Jesus Not Welcome in Australian Schools?

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Is Jesus not welcome in Australian government-run schools? Australian media, including the national newspaper The Australian, are carrying stories about an education policy in the schools of Queensland that is extremely disturbing.

This report states,

“Queensland education officials have moved to ban references to Jesus in the primary school yard, with an unofficial policy that takes . . . aim at junior evangelists,” is how The Australian reports on a new move by the state’s Education Department.

The minister of education, however, is quoted as saying:

Ms Jones said the Palaszczuk Government supported religious instruction in state schools in consultation with parents. “No one is telling a child what they can and can’t say in the playground,” she said.

Ok, that sounds like everything is fine, but then she adds,

There has been no change to the religious instruction policy in state schooling. We are an inclusive education system that aims to provide a good education for all students of all faiths.

Now it’s all in how they say things. So what does she practically mean by that?

The department review called for only minor edits to the RI [Religious Instruction*] curriculum providers, but as reported by Eternity and now in The Australian, the reviewers commented, “While not explicitly prohibited by the [act and regulations], nor referenced in the RI policy statement, the Department expects schools to take appropriate action if aware that students participating in RI are evangelising to students who do not participate in their RI class, given this could adversely affect the school’s ability to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all students.”

Apparently, principals were emailed instructions concerning the state report on some of the Christian lesson plans. And what is considered to be inappropriate actions by students?

Examples of evangelism outside of the RI classroom, promoted on the RI providers’ lesson content, that the report was concerned about included:

  • Making beaded bracelets or necklaces with a Christian message to give away.
  • Devising a poem, song or drama to communicate the gospel.
  • Making a speech at a school assembly about something that matters to God.
  • Passing around leaflets advertising church events.

Ah, now we start to understand what their “inclusive” language seems to mean—inclusive of all but Christianity. The report concludes,

Freedom for Faith, a Christian group concerned with freedom for all faiths, describes the Queensland policy as “an outrageous assault on freedom of belief and speech.”

With policies like this being passed, I can see Australians becoming more interested in Christian and home education options. Now, it is true that this direction from the education minister is not law, only a guideline, but it is meant to try to force schools to censor Christian students.

Sadly, we are seeing the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech being undermined in Australia just as is happening the United States and the rest of the Western world. In the United States, organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group of belligerent atheists, continue their assault on Christianity by bullying schools and other places into removing any mention of Christianity in the public and replacing it with their religion of atheism.

Despite growing opposition, we must continue to do what God commanded us to do—share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone (Matthew 28:19).

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

*Religious Instruction in Australia is not just Christian instruction. Other faiths are taught, so the language in the guidelines would apply to those religions as well.

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