Feature

European Union: The war on Christmas has begun

In Brussels, authorities have for the first time failed to put up the traditional, seven-story fir.

Andrius UzkalnisLietuvos Rytas (Lithuania)

A war on Christmas is being waged in Europe’s capital, said Andrius Uzkalnis. We’re still safe here in Lithuania, but we have reasons for wariness. The Soviets suppressed our traditional Catholicism until we broke free two decades ago, allowing us to celebrate “with a Christmas tree in Cathedral Square” in Vilnius, a Nativity scene at most town halls, and the Christmas Mass broadcast on public television. Now we worry that “all this is temporary, like an All Souls’ candle in the wind.” In Brussels, authorities have for the first time failed to put up the traditional, seven-story fir, erecting instead a vile modern-art display. It’s unclear whether Belgian or EU officials are responsible, but it doesn’t really matter: Brussels is the capital of Europe, and it has chosen to squelch the Christmas spirit “out of politeness, indolence, and a desire to avoid conflict” with the burgeoning Muslim population. Already, a quarter of the city’s inhabitants are Muslims, and Mohammed is now the most popular name for baby boys. Rather than insist on its centuries-old traditions, “weary and lethargic Christian Europe has surrendered” at its heart. Is Vilnius, just a few hours’ journey from Brussels, next? I fear I can already “feel the icy breath of the new era.” 

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