Should students learn about world religions in public school?
Learning about other cultures, beliefs and religions from around the globe is an excellent way to expand one’s knowledge, defy stereotypes, and truly appreciate other cultures and customs. By teaching students about other world religions, it will open their eyes to the world around them and offer them a wider perspective. It will create a society of much more understanding, open-minded individuals as well. Given that Canada’s a multicultural country and generally known for being very welcoming, students learning about world religion in public schools would only broaden the common man’s understanding of others and their beliefs. Even if one does not believe in the same things as another, religion teaches many common principles that anyone can act on in their daily lives. Principles such as peace and respect for others to name a few. For example, important morals such as respect, understanding and others for the bases of many religions. One does not have to partake in religious customs and traditions to apply these morals in their own life. Unfortunately, discrimination is still very apparent in our society, and many close-minded individuals still partake in the labeling of other religions and races. Therefore, world religions are often considered dangerous due to the assumptions and lack of knowledge throughout the public. By teaching about the true goals of these religions, one can realize that they tell of a world of peace, and be able to tell for themselves the difference between religious individuals and radicals. A great example of this is the assumption that all Islamic people participate in acts of terrorism or are related in some part to terrorist groups. The truth being that the beliefs of terrorist groups and those of Islam are very different. Lastly, by teaching about other religions and religious traditions around the world, one can truly get an appreciation for other cultures and partake in the activities themselves, bringing more people together. Religion is for anyone who wishes to participate, despite of ethnicity or race. Religion does not belong to any group of people, and encourages others to join them. Already religions such as Buddhism have expanded into western culture, as statues become more and more common. The Chinese teachings of balance are also common with the Yin-Yang symbol being recognized worldwide. In conclusion, public schools should teach about religion as it expands one’s mental boundaries, provides students with an open-mind, and gives them an in-depth understanding about traditions from around the globe. It should be included in the curriculum, whether it be a part of another class such as history or social studies, or a class of its own.