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    Russian Catholics back religious education at school

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    MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Catholic leaders joined a long-running debate Monday when they spoke in favor of introducing religious education at school.

    Senior officials within the Russian Orthodox Church have consistently called for teaching the basics of Orthodoxy in secular schools, which Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, the head of Catholic Church in Russia seemed to back at a forum of Catholic journalists.

    "This is natural and exists in many countries," he said.

    Kondrusiewicz said he also backed the institution of army chaplains.

    Igor Kovalevsky, head of the Conference of Russia's Catholic Bishops, was more forthright. "Russia is facing serious problems with religious education, in particular, of journalists," he said.

    "Above all, we need religious education at school," he said.

    Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church who also attended the forum highlighted the role of the media in the country's religious revival.

    Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin of the Moscow Patriarchy said many people had become believers under the influence of the media, adding that faiths should take part in media activities to spread moral ideas and express a religious position on global developments.

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