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2013-03-27

ASIA/INDIA - Government Offices open at Easter: the protest of Christians

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - Some tax offices and government departments have told their employees to stay open on 29, 30 and 31 March, which for Christians are days that go from Good Friday to Easter. As learned from Fides, the faithful Christians in India have called for Christian workers to be granted a work break because these are "the most important days of the year for the Christian faith"
Some Catholic NGOs such as the "Catholic Secular Forum", based in Mumbai, sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance expressing "deep shock" and recalling the existence of a circular which provides for "the closure of business tax offices on Saturday and Sunday." According to Fides sources, a special opening may have been ordered by the Ministry of Finance since March 31 is the deadline for the submission of the tax return for citizenship. In a note sent to Fides, we ask that employees of the Christian faith are exempt from work "to allow anyone who wants to attend religious functions," while the due date of the tax return "could be extended by one day ". This position also found support from some Indian bishops.
A particular situation of discrimination, concludes the note sent to Fides, touches the Christians living in the Indian state of "Jammu and Kashmir", a Muslim majority, where Good Friday is not holiday, unlike other Muslim Hindu and Buddhist holidays. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 27/03/2013)

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