ASIA/INDIA - Christians request is granted: Good Friday will remain a bank holiday in Karnataka state

Friday, 12 March 2004

Bangalore (Fides Service) - The governor of Karnataka in India has said that Good Friday will remain a Bank Holiday, as requested by the local Christian community in that state. Fides received the news from Bangalore diocese led by Archbishop Ignazio Pinto.
Recently the local Church organised conferences and public demonstrations to pressure the state government to put Good Friday back on the calendar of state holidays. This Christian day of prayer and reflection had been removed from the calendar. A Forum of Christian associations and movements protested and asked the reason for the change. A Catholic association of lay people Sabha, which has groups in dioceses throughout the state started a signature campaign in parishes to pressure the local government to restoring the annual Good Friday day of rest.
Archbishop Pinto had a meeting with the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Veerappa Moilly, asking him to support the cause. On March 2 the state government granted the request and re-established Good Friday as a bank holiday.
Last year 2003 Bihar state made Good Friday a bank holiday after a request was made by the Archbishop of Patna Archbishop Benedict John Osta with other Christian leaders.
For the Federal government of India Good Friday is a bank holiday and individual states are required to absorb this federal directive in their own state calendar.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 12/3/2004 lines 21 words 233)