Protests at prayer ban

05 October 2011

by Muriel Porter, Australia Correspondent

A WESTERN Australian state pri­mary school that cancelled the Lord’s Prayer at assemblies after complaints from parents has been bombarded with abusive mail. Letters, emails, and phone calls from around Aus­tralia denouncing the move have been received by the school. The state Premier, Colin Barnett, called the responses “unchristian”.

Mr Barnett said that, although he thought that most people would be­lieve that the Lord’s Prayer was ap­pro­­priate in a government school, the decision was ultimately the school’s.

Edgewater Primary School’s decision to stop the prayer came after a complaint that use of the prayer went against the state Education Act’s stipulation that schools should not promote any particular religious beliefs over others. The prayer would still be used at culturally appropriate times, such as Christmas and Easter, as part of the school’s educational pro­gramme, the principal, Julie Tombs, said.

The Dean of Perth, the Very Revd Dr John Shepherd, said that although religious demographics had changed in recent years, there was still a place for the Lord’s Prayer at government schools.

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