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INDIA: Government Urged to Exempt Christians from 30th and 31st March Due to Easter WeekendSalem-News.com
According to Joseph Dias, Christian employees will find it difficult to fulfill their religious obligation...
(MUMBAI) - The Catholic-Christian Secular Forum (CSF), India's apex activist community NGO, has urged the prime minister and finance minister of the country to declare at least Easter Sunday if not Holy Saturday preceding it as a sectional holiday.
The CSF general secretary, Joseph Dias in a memorandum said, "Christendom's biggest feast falls on 31st March 2013 - a day that the Income Tax department is expected to work, as per a circular issued where the income tax department offices are expected to be open not just on Easter Sunday, but also on Holy Saturday, as the weekend is the deadline for filing tax returns for the last financial year. This has hurt the sentiments of the Christian community. Normally, one would not take exception to those Christians working in the Income Tax department, except for the fact that Easter is a culmination of over 40 days of prayer, fasting, abstinence on the most auspicious day of Easter with Holy Saturday preceding it. We have therefore urged that the government considers Easter (31st March 2013) as a holiday at least for the Christian government employees of the department, if deferring the last date for filing returns is not possible".
According to Joseph Dias, "Christian employees will find it difficult to fulfill their religious obligation and also are traditionally expected to be with their families and fellow-Christians observing the feast, which is celebrated the world over. We join the Catholic bishops, who are of the opinion that the religious sentiments of the community need to be considered and hence have taken up the issue with the union government. Nowhere in the world is Easter a working day for Christians and hence the community has made this request".
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