04/07/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to Barnabus Aid, churches in Pakistan have developed a syllabus on Christian religious studies to be added to the government’s new national curriculum. The new program would be offered an alternative course of study for Christian students instead of studying Islamic studies or ethics.
In Pakistan, Islamic studies are and continue to be a compulsory subject in schools. However, non-Muslim students are offered the alternative of studying ethnics.
In recent years, there has been a growing demand among religious minorities in Pakistan to study their own religious lessons as an alternative to Islamic studies. With the announcement that the government was looking to develop a new National Education Policy, churches across the country joined together to form the Christian Education Board and develop a Christian studies curriculum.
In addition to studying Christianity itself, the curriculum also includes a section on modern social studies and modern history to teach the history of Christians in the national history of Pakistan. This section would specifically highlight the major contributions Christians have made to the formation of the country.
According to Barnabus Aid, the Pakistani government has been “very receptive” to the Christian Education Board’s proposals. There is hope that the new curriculum will receive government approval and will be offered as an alternative course of study for Christian students.
Discrimination within Pakistan’s current education curriculum is among the many reasons Pakistani Christians face high levels of persecution. Anti-Christian hostility within the classroom itself causes many Christian students to drop out of school and work menial jobs to help support their families. The education gap this causes, along with the following economic consequences, reinforces the perception that Christians are second class citizens in Pakistan.
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