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Regarding Usman Makhdoom’s Dec. 30 letter, “Overbearing demand on Christmas” (which criticized Kevin Rafferty’s Dec. 24 article, “A thought for the holy day“): Rafferty’s article is not the “irrelevant, bitter rant” that Makhdoom says it is. The Japan Times should be commended for printing Rafferty’s article; I’m sure the editors would have shown the same courtesy to a writer of any other religious persuasion.

I don’t see where Rafferty’s article is demanding that we accept his Christian beliefs; on the contrary, he only asks for respect, something all religious faiths deserve. Unfortunately, this is a sentiment that jihadists worldwide — who claim to be devout Muslims — do not share.

Japan may not be a “Christian” country, but then again, how many countries can be called Christian today? Makhdoom, who claims that Japan is “devoid of any Christian connotations” and that the expat community here has few religious ties to Christianity, is obviously unaware of the Christian churches filled with believers — both Japanese and expats — not only at Christmas but every Sunday, from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

In fact, on Christmas Eve, some Christian churches, overflowing with people including many non-Christians, must resort to handing out entrance tickets, and regular churchgoers are sometimes left out in the cold literally. But few complain.

Makhdoom might well learn the song that begins with “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” And Makhdoom wanted to wish us “Happy Holidays”? Bah, humbug!

kunio miyamura

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