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Louisiana has become the first American state to require that the Ten Commandments of Christianity be displayed in every public classroom. The new law states that the Ten Commandments should be displayed in ”large, easily readable font” in classrooms from preschools to state-funded universities.

In the US, the law has received harsh criticism from several organizations.

According to Dag Blanck, a professor of North American Studies at Uppsala University, this is not the first time laws to strengthen the position of religion have been passed in the US.

”In other states, there have been attempts to display the Ten Commandments in public places. This has to do with the role of religion in American society, and in some states, conservative groups want it to have a greater presence in society.”

The Ten Commandments. Part of bible text, new bible translation. Photo: Claudio Bresciani / TT

”Likely to be challenged”

At the same time, there is a strict separation between state and religion in the US – it is an important part of the constitution. Therefore, Dag Blanck believes that it may be difficult to pass the law.

”It is likely to be challenged in the courts, where it will likely be determined that it violates the constitution. But it shows the strong position that religion still has, especially among politically conservative groups such as the Republicans.”

”The position of religion in the US has decreased”

However, the notion that the influence of Christianity has increased in the US is not entirely accurate, according to Dag Blanck.

”An interesting observation is that the position of religion in general has actually decreased in recent decades. Traditional churches are losing young members. However, the southern states stand out, where religion has a stronger position.”

Louisiana is located in the part of the US sometimes referred to as the ”Bible Belt”. Last year, conservative Jeff Landry (R) was elected as the new governor of the state, which was previously led by a Democrat.

Starting in early 2025, the commandments will begin to be displayed in classrooms.