The Bahá'í Council for Northern Ireland

Statements on Matters of Public Interest / Concern


Press Statement, November 2006 CE

The Bahá'í community in Northern Ireland has broadly welcomed the approval of a new core syllabus in Religious Education by the Department of Education. The Chairman of the Bahá'í Council, Mr Patrick O'Mara said that the approval of the new syllabus was a major step forward for Northern Ireland marking the introduction, for the first time, of world religions other than Christianity.

He also said that the establishment of an Advisory Group to support the development of the syllabus was a very welcome move, particularly since the membership of the Group included a representative of the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum. Representatives of religions that have a minority presence in Northern Ireland have, to date, been excluded from direct participation in the development of the RE syllabus and it is for this reason that the inclusion of an Inter-Faith representative is particularly welcome

Mr O'Mara said "The emerging diversity within Northern Ireland and the growing impact of religion in world affairs means that it is imperative that young people are taught about a range of religions in schools, so that they can better understand their own community and the wider world."

Notes to the editor:

  • The Bahá'í community has worked systematically since 1990 to have the RE syllabus extended to include teaching about world religions other than Christianity.
  • The old core syllabus allowed schools to add teaching about world religions other than Christianity, but few schools did.
  • Until recently there was little resource material to support teachers that wanted to include other religions, however there have been a number of publications recently that have filled this gap.

BACK arrow