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Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada announced Catholic Christmas a day off

Read the original text at rada.gov.ua.
Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada announced Catholic Christmas a day off

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One of the fundamental human rights guaranteed by international treaties (Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 9 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) and national legislation of Ukraine (Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine, Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine "On Freedom of Conscience and religious organizations "), is the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which includes the freedom to practice your religion, as well as the observance of ritual ceremonies. According to article 5 of the above-mentioned Law, the state protects the rights and legitimate interests of religious organizations, respects the traditions of religious organizations. The state should not only refrain from interfering in the activities of religious organizations and the exercise by citizens of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, but also to take active measures to ensure their rights.

According to the statistics of the Department of Religious Affairs and Nationalities of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, about 23 172 active religious Orthodox, Greek Catholic and other Christian communities celebrate the Nativity of Christ 7 January in the Julian calendar. At the same time, today there are about 11,000 religious Catholic and Protestant communities in Ukraine, which is about 30% of all religious organizations in Ukraine who celebrate Christ's birth in the Gregorian calendar, that is, on December 25. Thus, a significant number of Ukrainian believers celebrate this religious holiday the next day, as defined at the legislative level as a day off. In addition, most Christian churches of the world celebrate Christmas on December 25th. For many Ukrainians, this date is also acceptable, given the optimization of the celebration of the religious holiday of the Nativity of Christ, which is accompanied by fasting, and secular New Year.

Given the above, it is necessary to secure the rights of a significant part of the population of Ukraine to celebrate the Nativity of Christ on the day that corresponds to their religious and ideological beliefs, and to include this day in the official holidays of Ukraine.

Adoption of this bill will promote the unification and better understanding between Christian religious communities both within and outside Ukraine, and will also contribute to optimizing the celebration of the Nativity of Christ and the New Year.
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