Religious indoctrination in education is child abuse

24 Nisan 2024 Çarşamba

Yesterday's newspapers, as every year on April 23rd, included articles about the conditions of children in our country and child labor. However, I was looking for another news item of equal importance, which should have been on the headlines...

Because on April 22nd, psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and educational scientists scientifically demonstrated the most significant danger facing children in Turkey.

The jointly issued statement highlighted significant concerns regarding practices such as mandatory religious education, Quran courses for children aged 4-6, and projects like ÇEDES, which involve appointing religious officials in schools.

  • It was announced that a new phase in the religification of education had begun,
  • Children up to the age of 11-12 cannot develop abstract thinking abilities, and due to their concrete thinking, they are unable to fully comprehend cause and effect relationships,
  • Consequently, exposure to religious doctrine at a young age can trigger disorders such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and separation anxiety,
  • Religious doctrine can push children to become obsessive, timid, and anxious individuals, suppress their thoughts, and reduce their motivation for free thinking and research.


One of the emphasized sections of the statement revealed the impact that abstract concepts like the afterlife, sin, the devil, and hell can have on children who do not understand them.

For example, when children hear the phrase "You will burn in hell," they might think they will burn fiercely for even the smallest mistakes in their daily lives. When incorrect behaviors are prevented with statements like "Allah records sins, He punishes," it is emphasized that it would not be possible for the child to develop a consistent conscience because the purpose of their behavior and thoughts would be to avoid punishment.

Considering that the Diyanet's 2024-2028 Strategic Plan document states that religious education was provided to 1,322,000 children aged 4-6 and that there is a goal to triple this number, it should be loudly stated that the religification in education has turned into mass child abuse. In a country that dedicates April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day to children, the scientists' statement also warns the community in this context.


One of the underlined sentences in the statement was this:

"This situation causes the child to develop a personality in adolescence and adulthood that does not make decisions and act on their own will but submits to the control of people or groups they see as strong or fear."

This sentence reveals the fundamental reason behind the acceleration of religification in education. Because the real goal is to raise disciples for the counter-revolutionary sect! It aims to create a human model that is alien to the values of the Republican Revolution, sees itself as a member of the ummah community, does not even mention secularism, follows political Islamists and is stuck in the clutches of sects.

On the 104th anniversary of the opening of the first Assembly, which was free from any influence or authority of the sultan, both the children and Turkey's most significant problem is the religification in education.

At this point, we should also remember how the closure of the Village Institutes, which we celebrated the 84th anniversary of their establishment last week, turned into a deep pain within us after they were closed in 1954. Those schools were the means of instilling citizenship awareness in the Anatolian villagers, who had lived as slaves of the sultan for centuries.

The original Village Institute system, which was the tool for creating the new human being, the carrier of the Republican Revolution, was destroyed, and today, an education system dominated by religious schools, sects, and communities has been established.

The story of creating civilization in the medieval Anatolian villages, hand in hand with imperialism, has been transformed into the story of creating disciples for the counter-revolution. If we cannot reverse this darkness and revive the Village Institutes, we will not be able to rescue the children from the clutches of the sects and raise individuals who will own and sustain the secular Republic!

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