Removal of Nativity Scenes and Christian Contents at Christmas

Country: Spain

Date of incident: December 24, 2010

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Political / Private



Manuel Ángel Rodríguez, City Hall representative of Oviedo, proposed the removal of nativities from any public building, specially schools. In 2009, Juan de Padilla school, in Toledo, suppressed every religious reference to Christmas but «Halloween», a foreign celebration to Spanish tradition, was welcomed. Nativity scenes and Christmas carols were replaced in the Toledo school, while decorated trees and the pagan character of Noel were permitted after two parents had complained about the religious connotation of the shepherds and the angels seen in the traditional manger.

In 2008, the International Federation of Atheists highlighted the "bad habit" of printing the Virgin Mary and other Nativity related images on the Christmas Lottery tickets. In 2006,  Mercedes García del Alamo, the Director of Las Lagunas Institute in Mijas (Málaga) ordered to dissemble and throw away a Nativity built by the students during the religious education class. The Council of Education supported the Director's behavior despite complaints by different organizations. The same year, the Hilarion Gimeno school in Zaragoza suspended the traditional Christmas Festival. In 2005, the same school kept the Festival during the Christmas season but avoided all the songs that contained references to Jesus or the Virgin Mary; the traditional Spanish Christmas carols were replaced by English non-Christian songs.  Sources: http://www.larazon.es/noticia/3470-gesto-por-la-paz-celebro-ayer-en-bilbao-su-xi-acto-de-solidaridad-con-las-victimas http://hispanismo.org/politica-y-sociedad/4261-belen-en-la-basura.html http://www.hazteoir.org/node/3579 http://www.diariosur.es/prensa/20061216/malaga/instituto-mijas-retira-belen_20061216.html http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/183287/0/padres/catolicos/belen/ http://www.guadalajaradosmil.es/noticia/11468/Local/queman-portal-belen-instalado-junto-san-gines.html http://www.libertaddigital.com/sociedad/denuncian-a-la-directora-de-un-instituto-de-malaga-por-trato-vejatorio-contra-el-cristianismo-al-desmontar-un-belen-1276295609/ http://www.abc.es/hemeroteca/historico-16-12-2006/abc/Sociedad/la-directora-de-un-instituto-de-mijas-retira-un-belen-de-un-aula-de-religion_153470946611.html http://terranoticias.terra.es/sociedad/articulo/obispos_navidad_colegio_1243836.htm http://www.rivaslaico.org.es/comu8.htm http://www.laicismo.org/antiguo/PHP/p_documento.php?pagina=2&id=2674 http://www.abc.es/hemeroteca/historico-29-11-2006/abc/Sociedad/un-colegio-publico-de-zaragoza-suprime-su-festival-navideño-para-no-molestar-a-alumnos-de-otras-religiones_153207681914.html