The Estonian Government Refuses to Declare Orthodox Christmas and Easter to be National Holidays

Natalya Mihailova | 06 December 2014
December 4, 2014. The Ministry of Justice explained this decision by stating that not all Estonian Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7.
The Estonian Government Refuses to Declare Orthodox Christmas and Easter to be National Holidays

The Interfax-Religion website has reported that parishioners of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople celebrate this feast day according to the Gregorian calendar, together with Christians of the Western tradition.

Likewise, the Justice Ministry suggested that the government does not declare Orthodox Easter to be a national holiday, because it is not a traditional part of the local culture.

The suggestion to renew these holidays was made by a parliamentary group of the largest central Opposition Party. Most Russian-speaking residents usually vote for the Opposition Party. The parliamentary group explained its suggestion on celebrating January 7 as a national holiday and making it a day off by stating that around 170,000 parishioners of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and 15,000 Old Believers live in Estonia, which has a total population of 1.3 million.

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