Sunday school is an educational institution, typically of a Christian character, but also found in other religions such as Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. It was originally established in Great Britain in the 1780s to provide literacy education to poor children. The Industrial Revolution caused many children to spend their entire week working in factories, and Christian philanthropists wanted to free them from a life of illiteracy. Surprisingly, a survey revealed that Sunday school was one of the reasons why children were leaving the Church.
This was termed “Sunday school syndrome” and it showed that Sunday school was having an overall negative impact on beliefs. Despite this, Sunday school still provides leadership experience not found elsewhere in life. The Education Act of 1870 changed the role of Sunday schools, and with the arrival of Catholic emancipation in Ireland and the establishment of the national school system, Catholic Sunday schools became unnecessary. The Philadelphia Sunday School Union was organized in 1791 and it spread to Baptist, Congregational and Methodist churches across England and the United States.
The doctrine of Sunday Sabbatarianism encourages practices such as Sunday school attendance, since it teaches that the entire Day of the Lord should be dedicated to God. This means that many children and adolescents usually return to church in the late afternoon to go to a youth group before attending an evening worship service. One of the most interesting aspects of Sunday school is that there is an answer to every question that can never be wrong. This makes it a valuable educational institution for children and young people, as it provides them with religious education and leadership experience.