All kids must read the Bible - federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says

Current news updates, World current newsBIBLE classes must be compulsory so children have a fundamental understanding of Christianity on leaving school, Tony Abbott says.

"I think each one should have some familiarity with the great texts that are at the core of our civilization," said Tony Abbott, the Federal Opposition leader. "That includes, most importantly, the Bible.” I think it would be impossible to have a good general education without at least some serious familiarity with the Bible and with the teachings of Christianity. "That doesn't mean that people have to be believers."

However ex- Howard government Islamic advisor Dr Ameer Ali, said Mr Abbott's remarks were "over the top". "It's one thing to say all children need a good knowledge of history and geography or science," Dr Ali said.

"But it’s something else to say all children should have knowledge of the Bible. That may hurt other people who have their own holy scriptures," he added. Australian Education Union's federal president, Angelo Gavrielatos, said that religion was not a priority for schools.

"There is a place for comparative studies of religion in the curriculum, but eventually we consider it a private matter for parents and their children," he added.

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