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Understand religion to educate and live in peace

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To teach world religions in public schools can be an opportunity to reduce discrimination and comprehend the importance of respect and diversity in order to make and live in a better world.

In the United States, the threats, attacks and fear against Jewish communities has increased in recent years. The reason for this rejection owes to attacks by terrorist groups that have sown fear and uncertainty inside that country. Providing knowledge about other religions in public schools could reduce discrimination to foreign cultures.

It is not about inducing children to be part of any religion; much less it is a matter of talking about a God they should follow. It is simply to expand the knowledge regarding religious differences to promote respect for foreign cultures. This pedagogical alternative could be a way to end the stigmatization suffered by some Asian and African cultures in North America.

Today's societies are desperately fleeing from religious fanaticism that wants to use fear as a tool to exercise control over childhood. In some Asian countries such as China or Japan, religion is forbidden in public schools because it is considered inappropriate for the correct growth of "free" youth. Even in Latin countries like Colombia, a decree banning religious proselytizing in public schools was created. However, the possibility of including a subject that educates and reports on the importance of religions that exist hundreds of years ago had not been considered. “Some school administrators are concerned about crossing the line when it comes to the involvement of a school in such faith-based clubs”, consider the academic Sarah E. Jones.

The Jewish terrorism along with the Jewish extremist right, have provoked a wave of discrimination and rejection to a large part of that community that lives in the American country. Antisemitism has taken hold in North America due to attacks by Jewish terrorist groups, creating in this way a bad image about what that community represents culturally and religiously. Anti-Semitism could theoretically indicate opposition to Jews and Muslims, since both people have been classified as semites.

Another factor that could be fueling the stereotype of the Jewish religion in North America is the viralization of videos on the Internet. Through dark humor jokes are made to citizens of the community that expose the image of the Islamists as "terrorists", increasing the fear in those who know little about this community. “Religious illiteracy may be a contributing factor to the rising intolerance in the United States, including the growing number of hate crimes motivated by anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”, say Say Lester and Roberts, experts on the subject.

Based on the fact that there is a clear problem of discrimination against communities that bear the consequences of terrorist groups in their countries, it is necessary to implement in public schools a subject dedicated exclusively to reporting on other religions.

The image that new generations are taking about cultures is not only Jewish, but even Colombian, must be reconsidered from the school. However, it is clear that from the family nucleus should also educate children to avoid discrimination and intolerance towards other cultures that are distinctly religious. Each individual has the freedom to choose their religious inclinations without affecting others. But also, society has the duty to respect the differences and traditions of the rest of the inhabitants of this planet.

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