World

EU student calendar includes Hindu, Jewish and Muslim holidays but omits Christian holidays

A student calendar for the 2011-2012 school year, published by the European Union, has conspicuously omitted Christian holidays, while retaining Jewish and Muslim holidays, reports the Catholic News Agency.

Holiday mainstays such as Christmas and Easter don’t appear on the more than 3 million copies printed by the EU, for free-of-charge distribution to students across the region.

Despite the omission of Christian holidays, the European Union has made an effort to include “Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese holidays and festivals,” reports Examiner.com’s Kevin Whiteman.

Dutch Deputy Foreign Minister Ben Knapen has slammed the decision, according to Radio Netherlands, demanding an explanation for what he refers to as “an absurd omission.”

The European Commission has reportedly taken responsibility for committing a “grave error” in omitting the Christian holidays, to the tune of 5 million euros (or $6.65 million).

AndrĂ© Rouvoet, a political leader of one of the Dutch Christian political parties, is suspicious of that “grave error.”

“This is an incredible blunder,” said Rouvoet. “It makes you wonder what kind of agenda the European Commission has set itself.”

A petition by the Christian Democratic Party in France has reportedly begun, calling for the EU to cease distribution of the calendar and replace it with a printing that includes the Christian holidays.