Leaked letter shows Charedi leaders’ concern over creationism guidelines
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Leaked letter shows Charedi leaders’ concern over creationism guidelines

Figures from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations tell teachers not to sign up to funding contracts, as it may stop them teaching that the earth is only 6,000 years old

Gas and dust condense, beginning the process of creating new stars in this image of Messier 8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula.

Credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/ R. Gendler, U.G. Jørgensen, K. Harpsøe
Gas and dust condense, beginning the process of creating new stars in this image of Messier 8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula. Credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/ R. Gendler, U.G. Jørgensen, K. Harpsøe

Orthodox leaders have told head-teachers not to sign up to funding contracts because they may stop them teaching that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

In a leaked letter by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC), seen by The Sunday Times and written in Hebrew, the religious leaders warn that signing the government contracts could amount to heresy.

In its letter, which included an insult in Aramaic, the Orthodox umbrella group – which represents more than 100 synagogues and schools – said the government was “infiltrating” schools with “a lie that the world is ancient”.

The UOHC advocates the teaching of creationism – whereby God made the world over a matter of days 6,000 years ago – and have taken issue with a clause in the funding contracts that would stop schools teaching “views or theories which are contrary to established scientific or historical evidence”.

It urges head-teachers in Hackney not to sign up to the contracts or to clarify with the council that their names have not been added as “unwitting signatories”.

This week, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Creationism has no place in the science curriculum and you’re not going to get marks in your science GCSE talking about creationism.”

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