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School prayer

School Prayer is an issue that has been controversial in the United States since the early 20th century. In the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, school days customarily opened with an oral prayer. However, citing separation of church and state, opponents of the practice were successful in getting it abolished through the judicial process. Proponents of school prayer have worked to reestablish the practice. These recent proponents are largly, but not exclusively, Christians of various denominationss. However, some major Christian denominations are opposed to the practice.

The reinstitution of the practice has taken different forms in many areas, though most areas in the US still prohibit it. Few areas allow oral prayer, but some have instituted a "moment of silence" or "moment of reflection" when a student may, if he or she wishes to, offer a silent prayer. Some opponents of the practice state that they wonder why children cannot offer a prayer during non-school hours, thus saving time during the school day and avoiding any real or perceived pressure in favor of organized religion.

The issue is still hotly debated and no clear resolution is in sight.

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