The freedom of religion and the freedom of education in twenty-first-century Belgium: a critical approachThe freedom of religion and the freedom of education in twenty-first-century Belgium: a critical approach
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
Center for Ethics
British journal of religious education. - London
38(2016):3, p. 308-324
University of Antwerp
In spite of recent tendencies of secularisation and religious pluralism, most Belgian schools are Catholic schools, where Roman Catholic religious education is a compulsory subject. As we will argue, this can lead to a de facto undermining of the freedom of religion and education and a shift in the system is therefore required. In the long term, the number of Catholic schools should be in proportion with the number of students/parents choosing these schools. In the short term, however, this strategy is not recommended and for pragmatic reasons, we propose a system in which religious education in substantially subsidised faith-based schools is no longer compulsory. We will argue that such a system does not lead to an infringement of the (internal) freedom of religion of faith-based institutions and that it will guarantee more educational and religious freedom than the current system does.