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State Department Eases Requirements Sabbath Observers Have to Meet to Take Its Foreign Service Test

The U.S. State Department has eased the requirements Sabbath observers had to meet in order to take the December 3 written portion of its foreign service qualification test, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith has announced.

According to Justin Finger, director of ADL’s Civil Rights Division, the State Department has dropped its requirement that Sabbath observers submit a special form attesting to their religious tenets and obtaining certification from their “pastor or official of church or religious organization.”

He noted that last year ADL informed the State Department that “a form of this kind puts an additional burden on Sabbath observers and makes it more difficult for potential applicants to take the exam.”

In this year’s examination bulletin, there is a special note to Sabbath observers who wish to apply for an alternate test date to submit a request before October 21 to the Board of Examiners, P.O. Box 9317, Rosslyn Station, Arlington, Va. 22209.

According to the notice, “Sabbath observers should include in their letter a self-certification confirming their affiliation with a recognized body that observes its Sabbath on Saturday.”

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