Dr Nazir-Ali told Christian Today: “There have been a number of reports in the press about the Archbishop of Canterbury announcing ecumenical agreement for the date of Easter to be fixed for the second or third Sunday in April.
“There are two issues here. There has been lengthy discussion between Eastern and Western Churches, which follow different calendars, about a common method of calculating the date of Easter.
“If such an agreement were to be reached, the date of Easter would still vary but it would be the same for all the churches. The other proposal is to fix the date for a particular Sunday to facilitate civil holidays etc.”
He opposed the change because of the festival’s Biblical links with the Jewish Passover.
“Whilst the first proposal has much to commend it, the second would effectively separate Easter from the Jewish Passover to which it is closely connected both theologically and historically,” he said.
“This would be highly undesirable as it will further distance Christians from their Jewish roots and also affect their understanding of ‘Christ our Passover who has been sacrificed for us’ (1 Corinthians 5:7).
“In many languages, Pasch or Passover remains the usual term for Easter. This link should not be broken. It is my hope that church leaders are considering the first, not the second proposal.”
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