Hands off Good Friday and Christmas! Act now

GoodFridayIn Gateway News earlier this year, I wrote of the recent proposal by the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) to remove Good Friday and Christmas as public holidays on the SA calendar. According to the SALRC, to have the two main Christian holidays as paid public holidays, amounts to unfair discrimination towards people of other faiths.

This is not the first time that attempts are being made to remove Christian holidays from our national calendar. Already in 1994, Ascension Day was completely removed from the national calendar and Easter Monday was changed to Family Day.

As Christians (who in terms of the last census, make up 79.8% of the South African population), it is up to us to stand up and say “hands off Christian holidays!” If we don’t, who will?!

The deadline for comments on the SALRC’s proposal, is May 31

Churches, Christian ministries, businesses and individuals can object to the removal of the two remaining Christian holidays from the national calendar, in one of two ways:

For those who wish to submit their own written comment to the SALRC, herewith some guidelines:

  • Churches and organisations who wish to make written submissions, are best advised to do so on a formal letterhead of their church / organisation addressed to The Secretary of the SALRC, and in the subject header put “COMMENT ON SALRC DISCUSSION PAPER 133: PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS ACT, 36 OF 1994”;
  • The submission (letter) should make it very clear whether the author (of the letter) agrees with or objects to the SALRC’s proposal to review Christian holidays, and on what ground(s) objection is made;
  • The grounds of objection should be set out in separate paragraphs that are numbered for easy reference;
  • It is advisable to not (only) make an emotional appeal to the SALRC, but put forward reasonable arguments as to why these holidays should be kept on the national calendar e.g. the majority of people in South Africa are Christians;  only two of the 12 public holidays are Christian, the rest are all secular;  the impact on the economy if every group in society were to be given a public holiday; the fact that the law gives non-Christian employees the right to exchange Good Friday and/or Christmas for any other day of their choosing . (For these and other arguments, see my article in Gateway News earlier this year –   http://gatewaynews.co.za/christian-response-needed-to-threat-to-remove-christmas-and-good-friday-holidays/);   
  • While the submission may be drafted in firm language, at all times the tone of the letter should be courteous and respectful; and
  • The letter should ideally be signed by its author, and also provide the necessary contact details.

Note that, contrary to what readers may have been informed through sms or social media, the SALRC has not yet, in this round, held any public hearings on the matter. It is not clear whether public hearings on the matter will be held following receipt of the submissions or at this point in time. I will however be in touch with the SALRC in this regard, and through Gateway News advise readers of any developments (including any hearings that may take place).

For now, it is most important that Christians take action and make their views known to the SALRC before the deadline of May 31, whereafter no further comments will be considered by the SALRC.  Let’s not miss the opportunity to stand up and be counted!   

32 Comments

  1. whether or not these special Christian days of observance are kept on the calendar Christians need to make their significance known and not treat them just as holidays but as holy days.

  2. Will it make a difference how we view and celebrate these days if they were not holidays, paid or not? Do we still commemorate Ascension Day? I stand to be corrected but I am sure many Christian businesses were trading during the Easter Week end.

    • I believe you are correct, many Christian businesses was open during Christmas and Easter. but has this never made you wonder why the economy is what it is in today’s world. Just sayin’…..

  3. I believe that Christmas Day and Good Friday must stay, this is our religion,our beliefs, and as a Rainbow Nation, we must respect ALL religions, and this includes Chrisitanity.

  4. Spot on Frank. They are holy days.I will continue to acknowledge them as such…on or off the calender…

  5. The Christian faith has made this country prosper. Since the Europeans missionaries came to Southern Africa light came into this part of the world. Since the lack of adhering to God Almighty – the Father of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, when leaders failed to apply His word to practical, healthy llifestyles demise has come to our nation. Now that other religions try to bring in by force their ways and remove the most loving, forgiving and caring religion, we can expect the same human tragedies as in all neighboring countries and regions where Christianity is not welcome. So I stand against removing the public holidays that remind us of the God of all creation.

  6. South Africa is for all who live in it. It is the constitutional rights of Christians to have the two Christmas and Good Friday holidays. Christianity has/is/will done/doing/will continue to do well in making South Africa a better country. About 80% of South African population are Christians. The rest are other religions. Everything is well as all religions are respected in South Africa. Ascension day must come back. These are Holy days.

  7. There are a number of Churches and followers of Herbert w Armstrong and the publication spawned by him “The Good News’ magazine that have been promulgating this falseness to their congregations telling them to ignore Christmas and Easter. It is time to repent. If you are in one of those Churches it is time to get out. They have deceived you with this falseness and the new deception coming will be greater than this and the ‘false grace’ message combined.
    Return to the Bible and the true love of our great Savior. Find a true fellowship of love and caring.

    • plz read jeremiah chptrs 7& 10 christmas and easter are not from yhwh god and yahshua our lord and saviour

  8. Why should there even be a debate about this, is it not clear what the world is coming to all thanks to the disobedience of God’s children. Read the Bible, people, it is the Word of God, there cannot be lies in it, and stop following the word of man.

    The Lord, Jesus Christ, was born into this sinful world, to save you and me, regardless of the economy and businesses that is not complying to the Word of God, He still loves everyone of us, and the fact that he died, on the most gruesome way, should be enough to respect and honour these days. By taking away Christmas and Easter you will be denying the One and Only saviour this world has known.

    The end times are upon us, people, open your eyes. Read the Bible. What more do you need, how much more must happen for you to realise what is going on.

    If you deny your Lord Jesus before man, He will surely deny you before His Father.

    Is that the risk you want to take?

  9. Christians and Easter are the foundations of the Christian belief and we appeal to the South African government don’t take God/Jesus out of the calendar, it is a democratic country with freedom of religion, lets keep it that way!!and let people follow the religion they choose, but we will keep on preaching Jesus and the cross.

  10. ANITA VAN TONDER

    we as Christians must keep our Christian days to Worship His name with fellow Christians

  11. What people dont understand that this was prophesise 2000years ago in the last days satan will try to get many people on his side, but the Lord said when you see these things see that your house is in order so what am i trying to say that these things dont come as a suprise to me , just look around you see the uprisings taking place there is somethings in life that you cannot keep a blindeye.The Lord saids in Revalation 22;7 Behold I am coming quickly Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophesy of this book.The Lord also say that they will see ,and not see ,they will hear ,and not hear.Yea i dont agree that they take away these holy days but i just pray to God that He will open their eyes before its to late, because satan hates us and want to destroy the human race.

  12. Krivashni Moodley

    I agree and stand witness to brother Sydney. They can take everything away from us but not our souls. So let’s remain steadfast. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over this present darkness Against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. In Ephesians 6v12. So let’s wage war there. Blessings

  13. God’s purpose will prevail irrespective of spirit of rebellion. I’m in agreement that the weapon the enemy designed against the body of Christ is the same weapon that units us to serve God. These days must remain and this purpose will just strengthen our faith.

  14. these holidays must remain,our children are no longer to pray in schools,now they also want to take days which are sacred to our Christian lives.no weapon formed against us will prosper,as per the constitution our rights as Children of God are protected. i say NO to the removal of these holy days

  15. It’s our democratic right to celebrate these holidays. We Christians must make a stand for Christ no matter what.

  16. U can only remove it to u nd ur family not to us. (mingahi toloveli hinaa)

  17. Never and never again each and everybody have his or her own believes,and this two Holidays is too very imported to us nd we can not enjoy it on same way. If u want to remove something away, remove death

  18. We should pray without ceasing fellow Christians,led by the Holy spirit.Our Father is not deaf to hear our prayer.We do not fight against flesh and blood but against the principalities.He said we must not be afraid.Let us be still and know that He is the great I AM,Alpha & Omega,What He started He will finish.These holidays are Christian holidays and no one is going to take it away from us.

  19. Whether these holidays stay or are removed from our calender, and even if I have to go to work on those days – I will still celebrate the birth and death of my Lord Jesus Christ.

  20. Lets all pray to Lord our God and ask him to open these people eye as they are blind.
    Amen

  21. these holidays are most important to Christians and should remain as public holidays. However, removing from the calender as public holidays will not deter the celebrations to mark these days.

  22. Anna-Marie Smith

    These days must be public holidays. All religion must be resepected yes, also Christianity.

  23. Let us respect one another and our religion. Those days are special and needs to be public holiday to be celebrated.Why can’t we cancel days like Heritage day? The sooner the better people start noticing that the world it’s getting to the end the better, cause even what’s happening with this xenophobic attack. Nation shall rise against nation. Matthew 24:7.Lets be fair and try to accommodate one another and be proud South African.

  24. Hannelie Du Toit

    These days must be public holidays. Please let us respect all religions.

  25. I don’t agree with this statement above about removing christmas and good friday. And who are you talking about when you say other faiths bcos christmas is celebrated all over the world

  26. With all due respect. Do not remove Christians Holy Days.

  27. Ephesians 6:12 We are in a spiritual warfare here and the devil is a liar,he is the father of lies and has been a liar from the beginning. In a country where there is no Jesus Christ,its all sufferings, bloodshed, wars, famines etc. If we dont pray enough, our country would be goverment by the devil.

  28. If they are removed it will work against nation building. The majority Christians will then look at the Muslims and Hindus with suspicion that they have been quietly objecting. Christians may then want to stop putting up with Muslim prayers forced into their homes 5 times a day or separaye Muslim cemetries or having to eat halaal with no choice. Hindus will have to stop their noice with fireworks during Diwali.