Monday, May 28, 2012

1. United States:

When Puritans arrived in America in 1620 they were against Christmas. They called the holiday the “Foolstide” and banned their followers from celebrating it until 18th century. The only holiday they accepted was the Sabbath. When the governor of the Massachusetts colony, Sir Edmund Andros tried to sponsor Christian Day services, he was flanked by redcoats. The opposition continued even past 1800s.
Recently, news spread that a school in Texas banned Santa and a school in California banned Christmas Trees and poinsettias, stipulating they were too religious.

2. Albania:

In 1967, a ban on religious activity was official. The ban was not lifted until 1991 when the communist state fell. Christians were able to attend Christmas service for the first time In 23 years in December of 1990.

3. North Korea:

There are no holidays in North Korea, except for the ones which celebrate the birthdays of its leaders (e.g. the late Kim Jong-il). They even claimed that South Korea’s attempt in placing Christmas Lights on display was an act of psychological warfare.

4. Saudi Arabia:

If you are visiting Saudi Arabia or working as a teacher in the country, do not expect any holidays on Christmas. In fact Christmas cards and Christmas trees are banned from the country. The country follows strict Islamic mores, which means that the rulers consider themselves key guardians of faith.

5. Iran:
Religious freedom is curtailed in the country. This is not surprising as many women are being caught for indecent dressing and people are prosecuted for their beliefs.


6. England:


Oliver Cromwell is a famous British politician. From 1649 to 1653, Parliament was in charge of England. Cromwell took charge effectively in 1653. Puritan born, Cromwell banned Christmas. He wanted people to think about Jesus and not eat and drink too much.

7. Cuba:

Fidel Castro is another Grinch. He banned Christmas when taking power in 1959. The ban was in place until 1999 when Pope John Paul II persuaded him to revisit his decision.

8. Japan:
Christianity is not a major religion in Japan, comprising less than 1% of the total population. Christmas is thus seen as a secular holiday and is not official.

9. China:

In 2009, police cracked down on religious freedom on Christmas Day. China like many other communist states is a secular country with predominant atheists. It is thus why officials are not embracing the religion positively.

10. Algeria:
Christmas season is reflected upon the flag. The flag shows the moon and a star on it. This is usually the case, given that 99% of the population is Islam.
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