Rome, Italy, Dec 9, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The movement to take “Christ” out of Christmas has spread to Catholic Italy’s public schools, sparking a national debate. The Vatican has spoken out, urging Christians to maintain and respect their traditions and identity.
An elementary school in the northern city of Treviso decided last week to substitute the traditional Nativity play this year with Little Red Riding Hood so as not to offend Muslim children. The school's traditional Nativity scene was scrapped as well, reported Reuters.
This was the latest in a series of similar events in recent weeks. In a school near Milan, the word "Jesus" in Christmas song was substituted with the word "virtue." In Vicenza, an annual contest for the best Nativity scene in schools was canceled.
"Are we losing our minds?" Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli of the populist Northern League reportedly said. "Do we want to erase our identity for the love of Allah?"