Chair of the parliamentary committee on constitutional law MP Johannes Koskinen says Finland should consider changing religious instruction in schools to more closely resemble ethics courses in future, so representatives of various religions can all participate in the same instruction. The proposal also finds support in Helsinki's Muslim community, as some Muslims already conduct their own religious tuition in mosques.
The constitutional law committee of the Finnish Parliament struck down a proposal by the government in November that would have increased the minimum number of students required for separate instruction of minority religions. The government sought to save 1.2 million euros by increasing the minimum class size from three students to ten. The move would not have affected instruction in Evangelical Lutheran and Orthodox religions, as their national church status provides them with special legal status.
"The main problem from a constitutional law perspective was the difference in the way adherents to different faiths would be treated because of the class size requirements," explains committee chair Johannes Koskinen.