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Education leaders deplore effects of Arab Spring on Catholic schools

Catholic World News - October 31, 2013

National leaders of Catholic schools in the Middle East and North Africa met recently in Jordan to discuss the effects of the Arab Spring on Christian education.

The wave of demonstrations that swept the Arab world beginning in late 2010 helped lead to regime changes in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, and Libya and the civil war in Syria.

Father Hanna Kildani, head of Jordan’s Catholic schools, told the Fides news agency that “even in the most favorable situations, like the one we live in Jordan, we have been talking for some time with representatives of the Ministry of Education on the need to review school books, enhancing the educational criteria of freedom of conscience, mutual respect, dialogue between religious communities, including programs with references to the history of Christianity. But so far we have not had any real change.”

“In Egypt, Christian schools along with churches have become the chosen target of attacks and bombings carried out by Islamist gangs to terrorize the Copts: so now people are afraid to send their children to study in Christian schools,” he added.

Father Kildani also lamented the increasing Islamization of the school curriculum in Tunisia and the Gaza Strip.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 31, 2013 10:39 AM ET USA

    With the possible exception of Egypt, the population of Catholic schools are Muslim students. The question becomes, why is it difficult to teach Catholicism in a Catholic school to Muslims?

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 31, 2013 6:59 AM ET USA

    You can only believe in Muslim leaders' professions of good faith if you refuse to read the newspaper. To put things charitably, there always seems to be a fundamental divergence between what they say and what they actually do...and we all know what St. Paul had to say about saying and doing.

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