Christianity in public schools: Perspective of a non-christian immigrant parent


In this paper, I present ethnic immigrant families' dilemma with infusion of Christian ideology in public education in the United States. Most expect Anglicizing of their children through formal education. That is secular acculturation, not installation of Christian identity as part of this process. Public education and media accelerate Anglo acculturation and disfavor bi-cultural and bi-lingual socialization of ethnic children. Ethnic parents often find implicit Christian messages as part of the formal education that challenge the validity of their non-Christian beliefs. The role of three factors - family structure and religiosity, community orthodoxy, and Christian education in public schools - are explored. Community orthodoxy permeates Christian ideology in formal education. The interaction of the above factors challenges non-Christian ethnic family beliefs. The second generation who are raised in liberal family and orthodox communities will receive Christian indoctrination from school. They are more likely to adopt Christian identity from school and orthodox religiosity from the community than bicultural identity from their ethnic families.


Sociology and Anthropology

Document Type





Bi-cultural education, Bi-lingual education, Christianization of formal education, Community orthodoxy, Cultural discontinuity, Cultural legitimacy, Ethnic identity

Publication Date


Journal Title

Early Child Development and Care