New EU Calendar Includes Muslim and Hindu Holidays, but Not Christian

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

In spite of the fact that Christianity is Europe’s majority religion, the European Union has published its new student’s reference calendar with major Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese holidays included, but have omitted all Christian feasts, even Christmas and Easter.

The Catholic News Agency is reporting  that the new diary cites EU holidays such as “Europe Day” and other EU anniversaries along with the holiday and festival dates of many other religions, including Sikh Baisakhi Day and the Muslim holiday Aid-el-Kebir, but has left even the most important Christian holidays off the calendar.

Johanna Touzel, the spokeswoman for the Catholic Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, said the absence of Christian festivals was “just astonishing”.

“Christmas and Easter are important feasts for hundreds of millions of Christians and Europeans. It is a strange omission. I hope it was not intentional,” she said. “If the commission does not mark Christmas as a feast in its diaries then it should be working as normal on December 25.”

The Christian Democratic Party in France called the omissions “unacceptable.”

“The role of the Christian religion in the shaping of Europe is an undeniable historical fact” that the European Union cannot omit, the organization said. To do so would be to “instruct students while denying that a particular religion has greatly contributed to the foundation and unity of Europe.”

The organization has started a petition drive asking that the calendars not be distributed until the Christian holidays are included.

They contend that the Christian religion is “the first of all religions in Europe.  It is therefore unthinkable that it be denied, as it has great importance for the lives of all.”

EU spokesman Frederic Vincent called the omission a “blunder” and said it was due to insufficient “editorial policing” by the commission. He did not say what the organization plans to do to correct the situation.

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