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RELIGION > Christmas, New Year is pagan and capitalist, says Turkey's top cleric

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency

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Christmas and New Year celebrations are events where both pagan rituals and capitalist drives are intertwined, the head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate Mehmet Görmez said in a statement released Dec.26.

Görmez warned people against what he called the “cultural and identity erosion” that the “Christmas economy” can inspire in children through movies, marketing and products.

“What I will most object to as the religious affairs head is the Christmas consumer economy that causes cultural and identity-related erosion in children,” Görmez said. “Universities, scientists, teachers and intellectuals should think about this.”

Drinking and gambling frowned on

Drinking and gambling is “impossible to approve of,” he said.

Christmas and New Year’s should be separated and not seen as “a form of revenge on the time phenomenon,” according to Görmez's statement.

“I see mass parties and celebrations similar to a form of revenge people take on the time phenomenon,” Görmez said. “Especially [celebrating] with drinking, gambling and lotteries… it is impossible to approve of such things.”

“One wishes that such time would be cause for people to evaluate what happened in the past year, and to thank God for the coming one,” Görmez said.

December/26/2012

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