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Christian Education in Australian Schools

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Christian Witness  (4/23/2012) — Coming all the way from the USA, Sonja Hultgren has been employed to teach Christianity in our local high schools.

The desire to give children the best opportunity to learn Christianity has been the driving force behind the formation of Young and District Christian Education Association Inc – who secured Sonja’s services.

Though the 21st century has seen a growth in diverse religions, they believe Sonja’s presence in local schools is still as relevant as ever.

The Christian Education Association consists of leaders from a range of churches in Young such as Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, New Life and Uniting churches, with churches in Harden having intentions to join.

“Some may consider bringing Sonja into our public schools is controversial now that so many different religions exist in Australia and scripture hasn’t been present in high schools for some time now,” Presbyterian Church Reverend Tim Ravenhall said.

“But it actually says in state legislation, dating back to the 1880s that religious education should be available for each student to access.

“We want to give students the opportunity to make an informed decision of what they’d like to believe in – [hence] we want to help inform people of what we believe. I’m all for that approach in all religions,” he said.

Sonja has just finished her first term, visiting Young, Grenfell, Harden high schools and Boorowa Central School for one hour each week to talk to Year 7 students about Christianity.

And it’s all been paid for out of the Association member’s own pockets.

“We’re making the most of a historical situation that’s afforded to us,” Reverend Ravenhall said.

“We approached the schools and they’ve been good about it. We don’t believe we have exclusive access to the schools because we are Christian.

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