Days of religious observance such as Sunday, the Sabbath, and religious holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur, Rosh Ha-Sha-nah, Passover, for different religions occurring in the same country may cause conflict, especially if one religion predominates and national holidays are based on the days of observance of that religion to the detriment of the others.
For centuries, legislation in Europe and in the USA has proscribed various sorts of work, recreation, or dissipation on Sunday. While the roots of such proscription lie in the upholding of religious beliefs, religions whose Holy Days do not lie on Sunday are discriminated against by such legislation. The religious motivations of holy day observance were enlarged upon when the rise of the labour movement during the 19th century added a sociological impetus as well.
For the Jewish religion, Saturday is the Shabbath, or day of rest, in which all activity ceases, including the closing of shops. For Jewish shop owners to be forced by governmental law to be closed on Sunday as well means they can operate only 5 out of 7 days a week, thus putting them at an obvious disadvantage to non-Jewish entrepreneurs who operate 6 days a week. In Christian countries there is social and commercial pressure to buy Christmas presents and to send Christmas cards, which may be done by non-Christians. In Christian countries, some Jewish communities provide services on Sunday as well as the Sabbath because of the practical impediments for some to observe the Sabbath.