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First Minister declines to issue Easter message to Christians

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has declined to issue an Easter message to Scotland’s Christians—despite regularly issuing messages to the country’s Muslim and Jewish communities.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn both issued messages to the UK’s Christians over the Easter weekend, however First Minister Nicola Sturgeon issued no such address.

In the past year she has addressed messages to the country’s Jews on Hanukkah (which commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem) and Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and to Muslims on Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan.

Asked by the SCO if the First Minister had any Easter message for Christians, a spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “The First Minister acknowledges religious celebrations across the year, including in the Christian calendar. Scotland’s diversity is our strength and we value and appreciate our relationships with all our faith communities.”

Asked for examples of the First Minister addressing Christians, the spokesperson pointed to a tweet from last year that read: “Wishing a very happy Easter to all.”

The SCO can find no record of the First Minister issuing a message to the country’s Christians specifically on a major date in the religion’s calendar.

Her Christmas and Easter messages and videos over the last four years make no mention of religion.

On December 12, the First Minister wished ‘the Jewish communities in Scotland and across the world a peaceful and happy Chanukah—Chanukah sameach.’

On September 20 she sent her ‘warmest greetings’ to Scotland’s Jewish community marking ‘the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.’

In July 2017, 2016 and 2015, she spoke as ‘the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close.’

“Eid ul-Fitr is a celebration that traditionally brings people together for acts of devotion… I’m delighted to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Eid. Eid Mubarak,” she said.

Theresa May said in her message that Easter is ‘a time when we remember Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, and give thanks for the promise of redemption afforded by His Resurrection.’

Jeremy Corbyn said Jesus ‘spent his life challenging the status quo, reaching out to the most vulnerable in society and bringing a message of hope.’

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