The Secular Party of Australia has expressed serious concerns with reports that an extremist religious cult, The Hillsong Church, is using public schools as recruiting grounds and probably violating the Public Schools Act. The NSW Federation of Parents and Citizens Association has reported that about 30 public schools in NSW are allowing the Hillsong Church to conduct barbecues promoting their religious beliefs during school hours.

“Schools should be a place for objective learning and free thinking,” said party spokesperson Jeremy O’Wheel. “It’s bad enough that public schools are allowed an hour a week of religious teachings without more time being given to religious fundamentalism. Schools should be about education, not indoctrination. 30% of Australians have no religious beliefs. If those people don’t want their children to be preached at, where can they send their children to school?”

Sep 9, 2008