Karachi – “The Department of Education of the province of Sindh has the duty to take into account the dates of religious festivals and to set up the schedule of examinations. It is not difficult to know. We ask for the postponement of the exams foreseen during the Easter Triduum”: this is the appeal given to Fides by Bishop Samson Shukardin OFM, at the head of the Catholic diocese of Hyderabad, one of the two dioceses of the southern province of Sindh.
The Bishop says: “Also last year the exams of Classes 9 and 10 were rescheduled, initially foreseen on days when Christians celebrated religious celebrations. We urge the Department of Education of the Government of Sindh to take action and respect our fundamental rights”.
The Christians of Sindh have launched a campaign on social media through Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter to ask for the reprogramming of the exams for classes 11 and 12 to be held during the Easter Triduum. The Christian community has asked to reschedule the examinations to be held on 18, 19 and 20 April, i.e. Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
Sabir Michael, a minority rights activist, told Fides: “It is very important for every religious community to celebrate its religious events without any pressure. It would be a good step for the Sindh government to reprogram exams and provide an opportunity for Christian students to participate in their religious ceremonies in serenity “.
And he adds: “According to the Constitution of Pakistan it is our right to raise our voices and report these issues. I hope that the Sindh government will listen to us. We also ask Bilawal Zardari, President of Pakistan’s Peoples Party, and Mr. Anthony Naveed, the only Christian parliamentarian of the Sindh government, to present our request to the Chief Minister of Sindh”.
Pastor Adeel Patras Chaudhry, vice president of the “Jesus Life TV”, commenting on the matter, said: “Holy Week is a challenging and busy time for the Church, not only for Priests, but also for every Christian. It is the heart of the whole year. The faithful participate with great devotion to the religious celebrations. We request the higher authorities of the Government of the Sindh to reschedule exams.”
Furthermore, it is requested that “Good Friday be granted a vacation to Christian personnel serving in public administration and private companies to ensure that they can reflect and participate in the mystery of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
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