Political Issues: School Prayer


School prayer in its common usage refers to state-approved prayer by students in state schools. Depending on the country and the type of school, organized prayer may be required, permitted, or proscribed. Countries which prohibit school prayer often differ in their reasons for doing so: the separation of church and state is the United States’ basis for doing so (as proscribed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution); Freedom of conscience is Canada’s; and, similar to the United States, France’s rationale is the laicite concept.

Prayer done by private individuals by themselves when on state grounds is generally considered to be a form of free expression, and restrictions against it generally have been removed or struck down in modern democracies. However, totalitarian countries such as North Korea and, in its time, the Soviet Union have taken action against private religious expression in schools.

External Links to Anti School Prayer

Anti School Prayer – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and its Legal Affairs Department have prepared … Q. Is organized prayer permitted at public school graduation ceremonies? …