Non-Christian religious leaders say they are concerned about the new state policy requiring a Bible in every 5th through 12th-grade public classroom.

The state Board of Education said all schools must teach the Bible, calling it a historical document, like the U.S. Constitution.

State Superintendent Ryan Walters announced on Thursday that he wants every teacher in every classroom in the state to be teaching from the Bible because he believes so much of the U.S. was built on what is in it.

Not everyone agrees with his plan.

The Jewish Federation of Tulsa said, like many groups across Oklahoma, it is seeking more information and believes there’s a lack of clarity about what the mandate will require.

“We’re deeply concerned about this directive, namely because although the Hebrew Bible is a core text source and source of moral clarity for our community, we believe strongly that this undermines some core tenants of our democracy, namely freedom of religion and separation of church and state,” Community Relations Committee Chair Brae Riley said.

At the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Executive Director Adam Soltani said the move is a slippery slope.

“We live in a state that’s filled with numerous religions, dozens and dozens of religions, including people that don’t adhere to any religion at all,” Soltani said. “Therefore, why are we emphasizing or requiring the teaching of one particular religious scripture?”

Hindu leader Rajan Zed delivered a prayer at the Oklahoma state capitol back in 2018 during interfaith week.

In a statement released Thursday, he said in part, “Hindus feel that it is fine to incorporate Bible lessons in Oklahoma public schools as long as lessons from ancient Sanskrit scripture Bhagavad-Gita are also included…”

CAIR feels differently.

“As a group, we would never advocate for the teaching of Quran or any other scripture in public schools,” Soltani said.

The national nonprofit Freedom From Religion Foundation said Thursday it would take action to stop Walters from mandating the Bible in public schools.