The bill on granting official status to certain religious holidays is introducing legislation, according to which employers are encouraged to grant a day off to an employee who celebrates one of these holidays in accordance with belonging to a particular religious denomination, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva has said.
“It is proposed to grant the official status to such religious holidays as Ramadan, Eid al-Adha, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and Catholic Easter. According to the bill, employers are encouraged to give a day off to an employee who celebrates one of these holidays in accordance with belonging to a particular religious denomination,” Zhovkva said.
According to the Deputy Head of the Office of the President, this approach will ensure the observance of the celebration traditions and will demonstrate Ukraine’s commitment to the principles of equality, tolerance and mutual respect. In addition, representatives of religious communities will be able to exercise their right to freedom of religion without violating the original traditions.
“According to the Constitution, Ukraine is a democratic and legal state that guarantees the observance of fundamental human rights. One of them is the right to freedom of thought and religion. According to Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine, this right includes the freedom to profess or not to profess any religion, to perform alone or collectively and without constraint religious rites and ceremonial rituals, and to conduct religious activity,” Zhovkva said.
He said that Ukraine has chosen European integration as the main foreign policy direction.
“The countries of the European Union have deep traditions of respect for religions and religious denominations. Their rights are enshrined in relevant legislation, and society respects everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs. There are a large number of religious communities in Ukraine that profess the philosophy of different religions of the world. However, decades of domination of the ideology of national atheism have distorted people’s attitudes to certain religious movements,” the Deputy Head of the President’s Office said.
Zhovkva said that that is why the bill on granting official status to certain religious holidays is becoming relevant.
“The philosophy of this document is to build multi-confessional tolerant open society in Ukraine. After all, such principles are embodied in developed democracies,” he said.