Moldovans rally for religion in schools

Monday 10 May 2010 12.33
Moldova's population - 95% Eastern Orthodox
Moldova's population - 95% Eastern Orthodox

Up to 15,000 people rallied in the streets of Moldova today demanding that schools add religion to the school curriculum.

As they marched through Moldova's capital Chisinau, many said religion remained a key part of the country's identity.

Metropolitan Vladimir, head of the Moldovan Orthodox Church, said: 'We want to bring religion back to school after it was excluded by the totalitarian Soviet regime.'

The Moldovan church has petitioned to include a class on the foundations of the Eastern Orthodox religion in the school's curriculum.

Today's rally was the largest demonstration since 2009, when protesters stormed parliament after the April 2009 victory of the governing Communist Party.

In Moldova, more than 95% of believers are Eastern Orthodox.

The Moldovan Orthodox Church, an autonomous church under the Church of Russia, is the country's main church with around 1,300 parishes.