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Protestant Church in Montreal Acts to Defend Religious Rights

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A Council of Protestant Churches has been formed here for the purpose of protecting religious liberties. This move was made by leaders of the Prebysterian Church after the submission of a report which criticized the local city council for a by-law amendment under which a rabbi was recently convicted for holding a prayer meeting in a private home.

This amendment was termed “a serious restriction on religious freedom. ” The report also condemned a by-law amendment which enforces closing of retail stores on four Roman Catholic holidays. “It is exceedingly dangerous to enforce the laws of the church by civil penalties,” says the report, and adds: “If the Roman Catholic Church has the right to have its holy days enforced, so had the Jews. ” The city council was asked to repeal the amendment.

A local court upheld the right of a Jewish bakery to operate on Sunday – since it customarily closes at sundown Friday in observance of the Sabbath and reopens at sundown Saturday. The bakery was charged with violation of the Lord’s Day Act. This law, however, provides that in case of absolute necessity certain business establishments may be permitted to remain open Sunday. The court upheld the defense’s contention that operating on Saturday is contrary to the Jewish religion.

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