"And they're hanging their stocking," he snarled with a sneer.
"Tomorrow is Christmas! It's practically here!"

Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers
nervously drumming,
"I must find some way to keep Christmas from coming!"

- Dr. Seuss' "How The Grinch Stole Christmas!"

You may have mistakenly thought it was only the Grinch who wanted to keep Christmas from coming. Actually Christmas has been banned over the years in many places on the planet. Here are some.


Oliver Cromwell led a Puritanical movement from 1647 til 1660 wherein any celebration of Christmas was discouraged. It was thought of as giving liberty to carnal and sensual delights. Shops were to remain open. There were violent clashes in cities because of the ban on Christmas celebrations.


The Sultan of Brunei told residents in 2015 that openly celebrating Christmas would result in them spending up to five years in prison. It was all about protecting the creed of the Muslim community.

North Korea

North Korea seems to have a problem with everything. Christmas is no exception. Once a South Korean Christian group began erecting a 30 foot Christmas tree near the border and the result was almost war. The enemy to the north called the Christmas tree a weapon of psychological warfare and threatened to fire artillery at it. South Korea scrapped the tree.


This country officially banned Christianity in 1967. (It should be noted this was the world's first constitutionally declared atheist state.) It all changed in 1990 when the regime fell, but for many years Albania's constitution allowed prison sentences of 10 years for "religious propaganda and the production, distribution, or storage of religious literature." No Christmas for you!

Saudi Arabia

Maybe not an outright ban, but in 2015 Christmas was so strongly discouraged that Sheikh Mohammed Al-Oraifi, a Saudi scholar, told Muslims they are not allowed to greet non-Muslims on their religious occasions such as Christmas. Simply greeting them on Christmas would mean you endorsed their faith. And of course they can't have that!


Yes, the United States of America. In colonial times, one area once banned Christmas. By law, Massachusetts did not allow the celebration of Christmas. The Massachusetts Bay General Court banned the holiday from 1659 to 1681. During those 22 years anyone caught performing the "forbearing of labour, feasting, or any other way...whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Xmas or the like" would be subject to a fine. Once again, you can blame the Puritans for that one.

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