The European Union has sent millions of diaries to schools which list the dates of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese festivals - but omit any mention of Christian celebrations.
In an extraordinary move, three million 2011 notebooks were printed at a cost of £4.4million to the taxpayer. Around 350,000 of the diaries have already been shipped to schools in the UK alone.
There is no record for Christmas, Easter or Lent - despite bureaucrats carefully listing the EU’s self-styled ‘Europe Day’ on May 9.
The EU was forced to apologise in the wake of the blunder as religious groups expressed their disbelief.
John Dalli, consumer commissioner said: 'We regret this' and apologised.
While the apology is general, there has been a specific, grovelling apology sent to the French government and to the French Catholic Bishop Conferences which had complained directly to Brussels.
European Catholic Commission spokeswoman Johanna Touzel described the mistakes 'just incredible.'
'Christmas and Easter are important feasts for hundreds of millions of Christians and Europeans.
'If the Commission does not mark Christmas as a feast in its diaries then it should be working as normal on December 25,' she added.
The diaries contain information for modern-day youngsters aged between 12 and 16 - such as mobile phone costs - but nothing about Lent
EU officials have described the diaries as 'a rather gross error' but were at a loss to explain how it might have occurred.
The diaries contain much information for modern-day youngsters aged between 12 and 16 – such as mobile phone costs, the dangers of the Internet and climate change.
German conservative MEP delegate Martin Kastler blamed' aggressive atheism in the apparatus of the European Union-Commission' and called it 'unbearable.'
He added; 'It is impudent to say that it was merely a mistake, however big. I demand that the responsible officials be called to account immediately.
'I expect a personal apology from the Commission president because I believe this was intentionally published in this way.'
The mistake is another spectacular own goal for the EU which is under huge pressure from member states to keep out Muslim states such as Turkey.