EU calendar omits Christmas, Easter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--An "educational" calendar for students in the European Union left off Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter, while noting Jewish and Muslim celebrations.

A statement from the EU says omitting the Christian holidays was a mistake and promises future printings of the calendar will list them, Fox News reported Jan. 17.

Three million copies of the calendar reportedly were printed, Fox News reported. The calendar book was intended to be a tool for students to note homework and activities. Each page contains inspirational quotes, information or comments for reflection.

While no Christian holidays are marked on the calendar, Jewish celebrations like Yom Kippur and the Muslim holiday Aid-el-Kebir are listed, according to Fox News.

The EU statement, according to Fox News, said: "At the bottom of each page of this 'class journal' are small quotes or information devoted to various subjects and perhaps less known to European students. Some of them sometimes refer to cultural events, historical and religious.... This approach led, without any deliberate intent, in the absence of references to events and important religious festivals that are very much a part of European heritage, particularly ... Christmas and its importance in the Christian religion."

Former French government minister Christine Boutin noted the omission of Christian holidays in a Jan. 11 blog post, according to the Catholic News Agency. The calendar slights "the religion practiced or recognized as forming the cultural assembly of our 'old' continent," Boutin reportedly said. She wrote that Christianity has "fallen into the limbo of collective ignorance."


Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor and senior writer Mark Kelly.

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