“What are some ways we can respect other religions’ holidays?” New Era, Mar. 2010, 40
Respecting others’ religions is one of our key beliefs: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (Articles of Faith 1:11).
Religious holidays often involve a form of worship. Just as members of our Church celebrate Christmas and Easter, members of other faiths celebrate these holy days or other holidays in honor of a particular deity or to commemorate an event in their religious history.
You can respect others’ religious holidays by first recognizing when those days are celebrated. You can read about certain religious holidays and talk to your friends about how they show their love to God on these special days. You should not make fun of their beliefs, customs, or practices. Respect the religious symbols they use to celebrate and worship.
If you are invited to participate, ask politely for their suggestions about how you can do so appropriately. They may be happy to simply have you watch what they do, or they may suggest some activities you can join in on and others you should avoid. For example, if one of their religious customs is against your beliefs, such as drinking wine, you can politely decline participation, or perhaps you can drink water. The more you agree on in advance, the greater the opportunity to avoid embarrassment.
You can show respect by learning how others worship, and you can also invite others to celebrate your religious holidays with you so they can understand what you believe.