The Russian Orthodox Church wants to see Church Slavonic back in schools, arguing that learning the liturgical language is key to cultural and intellectual development.
Alexander Volkov, press secretary to Russian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill, made the proposal last week while speaking on Russian radio station Vesti FM.
“Even if a person has never crossed the threshold of a church in his life, it is still such an important component. This is important even from the point of view of the overall cultural and intellectual development of a young person,” Mr Volkov stated.
Church Slavonic, an archaic liturgical Slavic language, is currently the reserve of Orthodox church services and religious scholars, while children were taught the language in schools up until the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Such a proposal has raised fears among those concerned about the growing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on Russian society and culture. Recent examples of church influence on contemporary culture include criticism from representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church regarding upcoming film Matilda (dir. Alexey Uchitel) and last month’s announcement that Russian lawmakers will soon get their own council — with members including church representatives — to advise them on moral issues.
Source: Afisha (in Russian)