Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 26, 2024 / 09:15 am
Pakistan is ending its mandatory study of Islam for non-Muslim children in first through 12th grade and implementing a new curriculum, one that will allow children to study the religion to which their families belong.
The new religious education curriculum, which was approved on Jan. 22, creates education plans for seven minority religions in Pakistan, including Christianity. The classes will be offered to non-Muslim students as alternatives to “Islamiat” classes, which are courses on Islam that had previously been required for all students.
The lesson plans for each of the religions were developed by religious education experts from those religions, according to a notification published by Pakistan’s Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training. The new curriculum will go into effect in the 2025 academic year.
Naeem Yousaf Gill, the executive director of the National (Catholic) Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), told CNA that the commission was involved in crafting the Christianity syllabus, though he noted that implementation is still a challenge moving forward. The NCJP is a human rights advocacy group established by the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference in 1985.