Bulgaria's population is 80 percent Christian Orthodox, by tradition, and the church has long pressed for reintroducing courses on Christianity, which were part of every school's curriculum prior to communism.
The country also has a Turkish minority of Muslim faith, who represent 10 percent of the population.
Under a bid to promote respect for minority rights, optional studies on Christianity or Islam were actually introduced about a decade ago
though only 14,000 students nationwide follow the course on their respective religion.
But these classes "are attracting less and less interest," said an opponent to the government's plan, Lyutfi Mestan, who is chairman of the parliamentary committee on education and an MP for the Turkish minority party Movement for Rights and Freedoms.
"Instead of teaching tolerance, this type of religious study has divided pupils," he insisted.
Source: AFP (English) h/t Daily Atheist