At RLTV we have been watching developments of this issue for over a year.  A coalition of churches and labor unions is again working toward the goal of a European Sunday rest law.   Editor


A Conference to relaunch the debate on Sunday protection at European level will be held on 24 March in the European Parliament in Brussels. It is organised by the MEPs Thomas Mann (EPP, Germany) and Patrizia Toia (S&D, Italy) together with the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation. Several European trade unions, civil society organisations and Churches support the conference. László Andor, the new EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs will take the floor, as well as numerous experts and MEPs.

The European Commission will soon be presenting a new draft of the “Working Time Directive”. In its initial 1993 version the Directive stipulated that Sunday should be « in principle » the weekly day of rest for European workers. This reference had been withdrawn in 1996 by the European Court of Justice, on the grounds that the European legislator had not given sufficient reasons as to a link between a work-free Sunday and the protection of workers’ health.

Meanwhile, recent studies have demonstrated the existence of a strong link between workers’ health and a work-free Sunday. Furthermore, a common weekly rest day for the whole of society allows families to spend time with each other, and all citizens to engage in cultural, spiritual and social activities. Sunday moreover strengthens the social cohesion of our societies, which has been undermined by the current economic crisis. It therefore represents a precious achievement, which should be recognised as a pillar of the European Social Model.

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  1. Chris says:

    Europe has an extensive history revolving around Sunday, not all of it healthy. Europe also has an extensive history of antisemitism, none of it healthy. When Sunday regulations combine with antisemitism, they can especially disadvantage observers of shabbat/Sabbath. Public education in Europe frequently includes Saturday classes already, so it is challenging to imagine the EU Commission or the European Court of Justice rejecting the latest “Working Time Directive.” Still I can pray that the final wording will include explicit language protecting the religious liberty of those who honor days other than Sunday.

  2. iananthonyjones says:

    Here is a strategy to fight the EU Sunday rest initiative. Don't just oppose the proposed law. Offer a better alternative. Someone should present this to the EU:

    Pass a law establishing the right and necessity of every worker having one day of rest out of each week and the right of each worker to choose which of the weekdays will be their day of rest.

    If this is really about the rights of workers and their families, then this is the law that would preserve both the right and the necessity of a day of rest and also preserve the natural right of each individual to choose which day that will be.

    To deny this worker's right to choose in favor of an arbitrary enforcement of a Sunday rest agenda is to arbitrarily establish Sunday rest as more important than the worker's right to choose his or her own day of rest. This is a denial of the natural rights of ALL workers, not only of those who prefer a day other than Sunday as their day of rest as a matter of conscience.

    Take that argument to the Trade Unions, to the European people, and to the EU governing bodies. Let's be proactive and present a viable alternative. Here it is.

    In His service,

    Ian Anthony Jones

  3. Mdavidovac says:

    “Religious powers, allied to heaven by profession, and claiming to have the characteristics of a lamb
    (Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.), will show by their acts that they have the heart of a dragon and that they are instigated and controlled by Satan. The time is coming when God’s people will feel the hand of persecution because they keep holy the seventh day. Satan has caused the change of the Sabbath in the hope of carrying out his purpose for the defeat of God’s plans. He seeks to make the commands of God of less force in the world than human laws. The man of sin, who thought to change times and laws, and who has always oppressed the people of God, will cause laws to be made enforcing the observance of the first day of the week. But God’s people are to stand firm for Him. And the Lord will work in their behalf, showing plainly that He is the God of gods.
    The law for the observance of the first day of the week is the production of an apostate Christendom. Sunday is a child of the papacy, exalted by the Christian world above the sacred day of God’s rest.”

    This has been written in the 19th century and we are today in the 21st. It’s based on the last book of the Bible, Revelation.

    Here is what the Catholic church claims to be the MARK of their
    authority: Sunday is our mark or authority…the church is above the
    Bible, and
    this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact. Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.

    Revelation 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    They claim to be above the supreme law of God (Ten Commandments) as it is given in the Bible and hence above any law for that matter including the American Constitution, and they’ve done it right though the history. They consider themselves accountable neither to God nor men. How does that compare to the constitution of the USA? Would you trust this men with your liberties guaranteed by that same constitution? Back to the Bible, back to God, back to Jesus dear Americans if you do not want to receive the last seven plagues!

  4. Mdavidovac says:

    Cast out of heaven, Satan set up his kingdom in this world, and ever since he has been untiringly striving to seduce human beings from their allegiance to God. He uses the same power that he used in heaven–the influence of mind on mind. Men become tempters of their fellowmen. The strong, corrupting sentiments of Satan are cherished, and they exert a masterly, compelling power. Under the influence of these sentiments, men bind up with one another in confederacies, in trade unions, and in secret societies. There are at work in the world agencies that God will not much longer tolerate.–Lt 114, 1903.

  5. Mdavidovac says:

    The trade unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began.–Letter 200, 1903