A Bucharest court decided on June 18 that a decision made by the main anti-discrimination body in Romania on removing religious symbols from schools was well grounded, thus giving green light to moves that would see such symbols gone from Romanian schools. The Education ministry announced it would challenge the decision at the High Court of Justice.

The whole dispute started in August last year when a teacher urged the head of the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD) to establish that the presence of religious symbols in school as well as teaching a certain religion was an act of discrimination towards atheists or people of other denominations and was limiting the chances and equality and freedom of option against students.

The most active civic associations in Romania stood behind the teacher from Buzau county. CNCD thus opted to promote a recommendation in this regard, which was challenged in court by the Education Ministry.

In response to this initiative, the Patriarchy of the Romanian Orthodox Church launched a counter-offensive based on the argument that the Romanians were a Christian people and that the absence of religious symbols from public areas would discriminate the Orthodox majority in the country.