Slovakian Schools to Begin Teaching the Catholic Faith

VATICAN CITY, JULY 15, 2004 ( The Catholic religion will be taught in Slovakian public schools in virtue of an education agreement signed between the Holy See and the former Communist republic.

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The text came into force July 9, when it was ratified by both entities. It was signed in Bratislava on May 13, after being approved by the Slovakian Chamber of Deputies in February.

The religion classes, for students ages 6 to 18 who wish to attend them, will begin in September.

About 60% of the Slovakian population is Catholic. About 9.7% of the population declare themselves atheist.

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