A municipal council in Sweden has passed a set of controversial new guidelines which prohibit government employees from praying during working hours.
The new rules, which were invoked in the coastal town of Bromölla by politicians from the Sweden Democrats Party, according to regional newspaper Kristianstadsbladet.
“In the regulation, we have cut out everything which could be interpreted as saying that you can take time off to pray during work time,” Chairman Eric Berntsson, told The Local. “Both we and the Moderates and the Christian Democrats thought that the regulations should be more precise.”
Berntsson insisted that the new rules were not dissimilar from employers cracking down on employees who take unnecessary time away from work for things such as smoking. He also noted that the ban was not applicable to any singular religion, but was instead a blanket policy for all faiths.
Shockingly, the new policy will apply to schools, nursing homes and council offices among other state-affiliated facilities.
Officials were also keen to point out that the guidelines will not affect the current break schedule allotted to staff members, but will mean that they are not allowed to take a single moment out of their working day for the express purpose of praying.