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10 Countries That Banned Christmas

24 Dec

There are still a number of countries in
this world where Christians are
forbidden from celebrating the day
associated with the birth of Jesus.
Check them out below:
1. England
Oliver Cromwell overthrew the
monarchy and oversaw the execution of
King Charles I during the English Civil
War, but for many the fiery Puritan
leader is better known for banning
mince pies.
Christmas and the celebration of saints’
days was discouraged – if not prohibited
– in England between 1647 and 1660 as
the country was ruled by a puritanical
movement that considered the feast
day ‘giving liberty to carnal and sensual
delights’.
They mandated that shops had to
remain open and cracked down on
celebrations, leading to violent clashes
on the streets of London and other
cities. Life returned to normal after
Cromwell’s death in 1658 and the
Restoration two years later.
2. Brunei
Brunei banned public celebrations of
Christmas and imposed fines and jail
terms for those caught celebrating the
festival in 2014, an edict that was
reiterated in 2015 by religious leaders
writing in local newspaper, the Brunei
Times.
“These enforcement measures are …
intended to control the act of
celebrating Christmas excessively and
openly, which could damage the aqidah
[beliefs] of the Muslim community,”
they said.
It specifically banned the wearing of
Christmas costumes such as Santa hats,
the lighting of candles, the signing of
religious songs and putting up
decorations such as Christmas trees.
The Sultan of Brunei, a billionaire who
owns hotels across the world,
introduced a strict interpretation of
Sharia law on the territory last two
years.
3. Tajikistan
The reclusive former Soviet republic
country’s education ministry issued a
decree in December outlawing
Christmas trees, the exchange of
presents, fireworks and festive meals.
Sky News reported that while the
restrictions in 2015 are the strongest
yet, anti-Christmas regulations have
been getting increasingly restrictive
over the last few years in the Muslim-
majority country.
In 2014, the Tajik government banned
Father Christmas and three years earlier
a man dressed as Santa was stabbed to
death in the capital on New Year’s Eve.
Tajikistan also bans Halloween and in
2013 and 2014 police rounded up
revellers dressed as zombies and
vampires.
4. Saudi Arabia
Little surprise that Saudi Arabia, a
theocracy governed by the strict
Wahhabi doctrine of Islam, is not a big
fan of Christmas.
In the past, expatriates had quietly
celebrated in the comfort of their own
homes (and will likely continue to) but
rumours of illicit Christmas parties
prompted state media in January to
reiterate that celebrating the festival
was not allowed in the kingdom.
It went further by forbidding Muslims
from greeting non-Muslims at
Christmas, with a Saudi scholar saying:
“If they celebrate the birth of God’s son
and you greet them… it means you
endorse their faith.”
In 2015, it emerged that some
expatriates in Saudi Arabia were going
further, tweeting pictures of their
Christmas trees and children dressed for
the occasion.
5. North Korea
Back in 2013 North and South Korea
almost went to war after the latter
erected a giant Christmas tree at the
border of the two countries.
North Korean state media said that the
huge Christmas tree – which was lit up
in a town close to the border and clearly
visible from the North – was an act of
psychological warfare.
North Korea does not officially ban
Christianity but is ranked among the
most hostile countries in the world
towards Christians.
To complicate matters, December 24th
– Christmas Eve – is celebrated in North
Korea as the birthday of the Sacred
Mother of the Revolution, Kim Jong Il’s
mum.
6. Albania
Albania not only banned Christmas but
religion as a whole in 1967, making the
country the first and only
constitutionally atheist state.
The ban on any and all religious worship
was only lifted after the fall of the
Communist regime in 1990, when both
Christians and Muslims were able to
practice for the first time.
During the Communist years many
priests and religious leaders were
rounded up and jailed, but the pious
celebrated Christmas and Easter
nonetheless in private. They would
have cake or chicken at meal times as a
way of marking the days.
7. USA
Puritans, up to their usual tricks,
attempted to ban Christmas when they
arrived in the New World in 1620. They
branded the festival ‘Foolstide’ and
decreed that the only religious day that
should be celebrated was the Sabbath.
The Puritans managed to keep the ban
going until the middle of the 18th
century, at one point even arresting the
Sir Edmund Andros, the Governor of
Massachusetts, when he tried to
sponsor a Christmas service.
8 CUBA
Fidel Castro announced the Cuban
government as atheist as soon as it took
power in 1959 but it wasn’t until 1969
that the Communist leader actually
banned Christmas, as he wanted the
population to stop partying and start
working on the sugar harvest.
It was Pope John Paul II who eventually
persuaded the now late Cuban leader
to lift his ban during a visit in 1998,
when Castro agreed to make the day a
national holiday.
9. Somalia
Somalia banned Christmas in 2013 when
a directive from the Ministry of Justice
and Religious Affairs stated that no
Christian festivals could be held in
Somalia.
Sheikh Ali Dhere, the country’s director
of religious matters, called a press
conference a week before Christmas to
make the announcement.
“We alert fellow Muslims in Somalia
that some festivities to mark Christian
days will take place around the world in
this week. It is prohibited to celebrate
those days in this country,” he said.
It was the first time that the Somali
government had banned Christmas
since the country’s government
collapsed in 1991. In 2015, the
government in Mogadishu went further,
banning New Year’s Eve celebrations
and ordering the police and army to
disperse any celebrations it found.
10. China
Christmas and Christianity as a whole
were banned in China after 1949 but
you would not know that if you were to
visit during the festive season today.
China goes mad for Christmas, and it is
not just Chinese Christians that get in
on the act – while Christmas is not a
national holiday it is a widely celebrated
festival day, akin to New Year, with
fireworks and fancy dress in abundance.
While Santa Claus costumes and hats
are a common sight on the streets of
Shanghai or Beijing during Christmas,
other costumes are less traditional –
devil horns, for example, are sold widely
to mark the day.
Couples also like to treat Christmas as
akin to Valentine’s Day, exchanging gifts
and going out for romantic meals.
Local media reported in 2012 that, like
in the West, the Chinese use Christmas
an opportunity to hit the shops, with
Christmas Eve the biggest shopping
night of the year for some retailers.
Credit :Nairaland

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Posted by on December 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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