Greek schools to stop recording pupils' faith, nationality

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's Education Ministry says it's agreed to remove all references to schoolchildren's religious faith and nationality from school records and certificates.

Tuesday's announcement complies with a ruling by the country's independent privacy authority that responded to a complaint by atheists and rights activists.

The authority found it was illegal for school authorities to list pupils' faith and nationality on end-of-school certificates on an internal Education Ministry portal, and on declarations non-Greek Orthodox parents must sign to exempt their children from otherwise obligatory religious education classes.

Education Minister Niki Kerameos said authorities are now taking appropriate actions to comply. Greek schools, she said, should be "free and non-exclusionary."

Greece stopped the listing of religious faith on state identity cards in 2000, despite strong opposition from the powerful Orthodox Church of Greece.