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Christian Festivals

Volume 685: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to protect the right of Christians to celebrate traditional festivals in the United Kingdom.[HL7372]

The Government made clear during passage of the Equality Act 2006 that they recognise the central historical and cultural significance of Christianity in our country's story and value the contribution Christian groups play in all aspects of national life. The Government have also given the undertaking, under the European Convention on Human Rights, to:

“guarantee freedom of thought, conscience and religion and their manifestation in worship, teaching, practice and observation”.

This undertaking itself reflects the longstanding UK tradition of freedom of religion, and those who choose to follow their own religious or cultural traditions must be free to do so as long as they remain within the law.