A Rationale for Christian Schools in SwedenThis article was prepared by our friends at the Swedish Christian School Council in light of the recent political opposition to private and confessional schools in Sweden. It provides excellent arguments for the existence of Christian schools in every society and we make it available to you with their permission.
Ten Reasons Why We Should Have Christian Schools in Sweden
International Conventions Establish the Right to Religious Schools
Human rights conventions signed by Sweden, such as The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Convention and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, guarantees the right to establish and operate educational institutions and to choose an education for your children in conformity with your philosophical and religious convictions.
A Society Without Alternative Schools is a Dangerous Society
There is obviously a reason for declarations on human rights which so vigorously defend the right to religious schools. Both history and contemporary examples show, with frightening clarity, the developments taking place in societies that do not allow ideological diversity in education.
Christianity’s Social Passion
The history of Christianity has been marked by the desire to do good in society and to improve people's living conditions, particularly in the areas of healthcare and education. This is at the heart of Christian belief, based on the Christian view that every human being is created and loved by God.
The Intolerance of Secularism
The secular society emerging today is an intolerant society. Secularism pretends to be neutral, but portrays religion as something abnormal and irrational. Teaching about religion in Swedish schools is unfortunately not characterized by objectivity and comprehensiveness, but rather by prejudices and patronizing attitudes.
An Aggressive Secularism Leads to Extremism
Countries that have tried a hardline secularism, with attempts to exclude religion from the public sphere, have created an increased polarization of growing extremism and exclusion.
Integration Based on Trust
Christian schools have been successful with the integration of immigrants living in Swedish society. This is due to the schools' religious foundation. Their approach to these families has established confidence and enabled a positive dialogue, while many public schools fail to reach immigrant families.
Carriers of Basic Values
The values enshrined in the Swedish curriculum are reinforced in a special way by the Christian schools, because these values have roots in the Christian tradition. The values that all Swedish schools are required to pass on permeates the Christian schools.
A Thousand Years of History
Christian schools have been in Sweden for nearly 1000 years. They are an integral part of Swedish society and have always played an important role in the fostering of active citizenship.
All Schools are Confessional
All schools are built on certain values and are therefore confessional. There has never, anywhere, been a school which has not been based on a set of beliefs. The Swedish curriculum begins with several statements about beliefs with confessional tenets.
A Place for Restoration
Many students who come to Christian schools have had difficult experiences from previous schooling. The Christian school is a haven for these students; a place where they are met with respect, so that they again begin to believe in themselves and in their abilities. This also applies to high-performance and gifted pupils.
Produced by the Swedish Christian School Council
December 27, 2016, Sven Magnusson