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World News

Christians in Bangladesh want Easter to become a public holiday

by Alex Collett

A Christian organisation are urging the government to declare Easter as a public holiday. 

The Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA) are urging the government to make this change and to ask authorities not to allow educational institutions to hold examinations on Easter Sunday. 

Within Bangladesh, Christians form a tiny minority, less than half a percent, of the 160 million people in the Muslim-majority country. 

Of an estimated 600,000 Christians, the majority (about 400,000) are Catholics.

BCA secretary Hemanta Corraya told Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA): "We have been campaigning for a public holiday on Easter Sunday for almost two decades, but there has been no response from the government. 

"In the future, we will take more people to the streets to ask for this holiday.

"We want to demonstrate in the streets for our rights like a holiday at Easter, but we need assistance from the Church. 

"If clergymen join with us, it would be easy to fulfil our demand." 

BCA President Nirmol Rozario said in a statement: "Easter Sunday is one of the major religious festivals of the Christian community all over the world. 

"The day is an optional holiday in the official calendar but we have heard that some educational institutions will conduct exams on that day. 

"Our demand is for students to be given leave to observe the holiday." 

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