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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Catholic support for a Muslim holiday in Germany

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After harsh criticism from the Union (the conservative side of German politics), Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière (CDU), receives support from the Catholic Church for his suggestion of a Muslim holiday in Germany: "In a multi--religious society, an Islamic holiday can be added in regions with a high proportion of religious Muslims, without the Christian tradition of our land being betrayed- this happens much more in the transformation of St. Nicholas to Santa Claus, said the President of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Thomas Sternberg, the "Passauer Neue Presse" (Tuesdays edition).

The calendar of feasts is "neither a museum nor a mere sequence of labour-free days, but signs of the wealth of European traditions," Sternberg justified his position and demanded: "Where there is a significant proportion of Muslims, one should also take note of their festive culture." The Central Committee of the German Catholics is a union of representatives of the diocesan councils, the Catholic associations and institutions of the lay associations. In kindergartens and school, the renouncement of St. Martin, Christkindl or Cross is not the appropriate reaction, but also the "Sugar Festival" (the end of Ramadan) for the Christian or other educated children Sternberg said. Christian holidays are a public holiday "an expression of the bond between our society and the Christian tradition". However, this would be less endangered by the introduction of a Muslim holiday, but by the fact that fewer and fewer people could start out with these days. "A great concern is the ever less familiarity with the content of these festivals, whether it is Christ's Ascension or Whitsun," the ZdK President said.

New citizens and refugees could find out little about Christian festivals. "This is why it is equally important to inform the churches, educational institutions and the media about the content of the Christian festivals," said the call of the church functionary. The argument that in many Muslim countries it is impossible for Christians to exercise their religion freely, Sternberg does not allow as an objection to the introduction of Muslim holidays in Germany. "The complaint about this cannot affect the religious friendliness of our state system," he said. De Maizière had recently shown himself open at an election campaign to the introduction of Muslim holidays in certain regions of Germany. He had been sharply criticized for this from the ranks of the CDU and CSU.


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