«Well, Santa Claus, wait a minute»: the countries which banned New year

© RIA Novosti / Alexei Danceparty in fotobanka frost«Well, Santa Claus, wait a minute»: the countries which banned New year© RIA Novosti / Alexei Danceparty the image Bank

In the world there are several dozen countries in which the coming of the New year to celebrate not accepted, and attempts to put the tree in the yard, or to earn a red and white suit can end in tears. Most of these States refer to foreign countries, from Brunei to Somalia. However, the New year is under threat in post-Soviet Central Asia. In any of these countries, the celebration is not prohibited, but the religious community needs to restrict entertainment events.

Celebrate more modestly

Challenges for the New year came after the collapse of the Soviet Union, as radical religious preachers has become an influential force in Central Asia. Sometimes their side passed and moderate leaders who believe that the custom to wait for Santa Claus does not correspond to local traditions. «In Uzbekistan the people so that it is not even the limit, just no needs. Let’s make a New year was celebrated at home or away,» said head of information-analytical group of the municipality of Tashkent Bakhodir Gaibnazarov. On the streets of Uzbekistan established trees, but nevertheless in some cities, cafes and restaurants encouraged to take the day off on December 31.

In Tajikistan new year holiday falls even harder, because the competition it is the new year the local way — Novruz. Compounding the matter is the fight against «Russian influence».

In 2007, the Tajik leader Emomali Rakhmonov was thrown from his name the last syllable and became Rahmon. Appeal to the roots could not affect cultural policy. In 2013, the New year celebration there, but with the withdrawal of fabulous component. Santa Claus was removed from TV screens. And two years later was threatened tree itself: schools and universities in the New year it was decided to celebrate without the main character.
In Muslim countries the struggle with the celebration of the New year goes hand in hand with the desire to limit the Christmas Liturgy. In Saudi Arabia public confession of Christianity is forbidden since the founding of the Kingdom. In terms of the underground Catholics and Protestants are forced to hold their services in secret, fearing the raids of the religious police. Armed guardians of the faith to deal with violators to the fullest extent of the law, although in recent years I prefer to look at the secret of the mass through your fingers. In an attempt to attract Western investment, the authorities are ready to go for minor concessions to Christian customs.

«However, if they receive a complaint (from the religious police. — Approx. ed.), protecting us just a nobody. When I secretly held divine services in Riyadh — the capital of the country — we had a kind of security service. Her task was to warn us about the appearance of the police,» says Paul Hinder, the Apostolic vicar of the Pope in Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. Fear of invasion is not limited. The Christmas worship was complicated by the lack of sacramental wine. Buying and drinking alcohol in Saudi Arabia also completely prohibited.
«We have to warn you, do not celebrate Christmas, it is only for Christians» — so formulated his thoughts Shaykh Muhammad Harow, the head of the Ministry of religious Affairs of the country in an interview with local radio. The official said that enlisted the support of power structures: those ready to intervene if the streets of the capital will be seen something resembling a celebration. The official position of the state to celebrate Christmas just a nobody, after all, the inhabitants of the country the vast majority of Muslims, and the occasion threat to public order. Strange explanation, and that the security measures it’s hard to explain.

In conversation with RIA Novosti, the Bishop being on the underground Somali the Catholic Church Giorgio Bertin told that the country will be held secret Christmas service. «In particular, it involves the foreigners, the military stationed in the country, their homes and barracks. Local Christians have worse: they will listen to the radio, catch the TV signals and to pray with his family,» concludes the priest.

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