In a bow to its Christian culture and the government's desire for families to spend more time together, the Polish government has passed legislation that will end shopping on Sundays by 2020, reported the Catholic Herald on Nov. 27.
Poland's religious makeup is 87% Catholic. In addition, there are about 507,000 Polish Orthodox Christians and 150,000 Protestants.
Poland's lower house of Parliament, the Sejm, passed the shopping day proposal last week by a vote of 254 to 156. The legislation would "restrict Sunday shopping to the first and last Sunday of the month until the end of 2018, only on the last Sunday in the month in 2019, and to ban it totally starting in 2020," reported the Herald.
However, the legislation would allow shopping on those Sundays that fall before a major holiday.
The bill now goes to the Polish Senate, where it is expected to pass, and then to President Andzrej Duda, who is expected to sign it into law.
The Catholic Herald further reported that the Polish Bishops' Conference was not entirely happy because it would like to see all people free from wortk on Sundays.
According to Catholic teahcing, "Just as God ‘rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,’ human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord's Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives.
"On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body."
Most Protestants and Orthodox Christians believe the same teaching. As it says in the Bible, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.
"On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." (Exodus 20:8-11)
Also, Genesis 2:1-25 partly reads, "And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation."