Law requires public school students to pray “Lord’s Prayer” and sparks controversy in Brazilian municipality

autorThe measure was approved and divided opinions in Aparecida de Goiânia, GO, Brazil. The state’s Bar Association said that the project can be considered unconstitutional.

Quick and dirty, Google assisted translation from G1 article.

A law which mandates the prayer “Lord’s Prayer” before classes in municipal schools in Aparecida de Goiânia, in the metropolitan area of the state’s capital, caused controversy among local residents. The project was approved and published in the Official Gazette of the city last June 23, but should only be put in practice in August this year.

The law states that “the obligation of conducting the Universal Prayer of the Lord’s Prayer is established for Basic Education Municipal Schools and Municipal Centers for Child Education in the city of Aparecida de Goiânia.” According to the text, prayer should be made in all the rooms before the start of classes.

Councilman Francisco Porky (PSC) is the author of the law and explained that he created the project thinking on the majority. “We live in a country where 95% of people are Christian,” he said.

Councilman William Ludovico (PTB), however, Member of the Commission of Constitution and Justice of the City Hall, believes that the measure can be considered unconstitutional. “Our vote is in respect to the constitution, since it is forbidden for the legislative to interfere with the exclusive powers of the executive. On the other hand, the issue is that it is carved in the constitution that the country is secular,” he said.

The Bar Association of Brazil in Goiás (OAB-GO) told the TV Anhanguera the law mixes state and religion, which can be considered unconstitutional. The OAB-GO also said they want to propose a vote, but the forecast is that this happens only in August. At this time, the law should have come into force.

Controversy

City residents had different opinions about the requirement. The trader Ana Isabel Zanatta said she agrees with the law. “You have to thank God and, really, I’m not against it, you really have to do it” she said.

Mototaxi driver Ionei Pereira dos Santos, on the other hand, disagrees and says that prayer should not be compulsory. “You do not have to be compelled, you should be invited. Anyone who wants to participate, will participate. Those who don’t, won’t” he said.

autorFrancisco Gaguinho (PSC) is the author of the law that makes the Lord’s Prayer compulsory (Picture: TV Anhanguera)

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