The collapse of the Soviet atheistic totalitarian regime in 1991 opened new perspectives for educational development as well. It became possible to introduce a new subject - religious education - into school curricula. According to the law, religious education is an optional non-confessional subject. During the following years religious education was one of the most debated issues in educational development. Acrimonious debates about the aims and nature of the subject have revealed the wide prevalence of xenophobia, ignorance, and lack of knowledge regarding religious issues in Estonian society .
Among the recent research two main fields can be pointed out: developing a model of religious education for secular schools and studies in the attitudes regarding religious issues in society. Theoretical research has been accompanied by empirical studies among upper secondary school students, teachers, school principals, parents of pupils, and university students . The high degree of secularisation (one of the most secularised countries in the EU) and the influence of the Soviet past have created a specific context where the contribution of religious education to understanding, dialogue, democracy, and pupils? personal development needs deeper and wider comparative research. Also, the questions how religious topics are treated in other schools subjects, and how teachers are prepared to teach about religions needs closer attention.