Three guesses as to which people such a poster might offend — especially since the Christians in question are Iranian. “Ban on Easter poster criticised,” from The Church of England Newspaper, with thanks to Teri:
Religious leaders, including an aide to the Archbishop of York, have slammed a council’s ban on the advertising of an Easter passion play “” because of fears that it would offend other religious groups. Christian ministers labelled as “over sensitive” and “discrimination against Christians” Rotherham Council’s ban of a poster advertising the event from its main town library.
Iranian members of a local Methodist church wanted to advertise their open-air play staged in Rotherham town centre on Good Friday, Easter Eve and Easter Day. But council officials vetoed the idea on the grounds that it could be “prejudicial”. The 100-strong group at Doncaster’s Hexthorpe Methodist Church has separate Bible studies in Iranian but all members attend English language church services on Sundays. English-born Elizabeth Collins, 44, a Bible teacher with the group, who was formerly married to an Iranian, said: “One of our members wanted to put up a poster in the library but officials said it might cause offence to other people. We can only imagine they mean other religions.
“The poster just has a cross on it, with the dates, times and place of the performance and says: “˜Iranian Christian Drama”. What offence can that cause to anyone? This is supposed to be a Christian country. We go to other countries to promote democracy, yet on our own doorstep we can’t even put up a poster about an Easter passion play.” The Rev John Barton, acting press officer to the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said: “This is clearly a case of over-sensitivity. Everyone I know who practises a faith other than Christianity is opposed to the repression of the Christian faith in this country. Who was behind this decision? It sounds to me like a tired old agnostic. But I wish them a happy Easter all the same.” A Lord’s Day Observance Society spokesman said the move was “discrimination against Christians.”
A council spokesman said: “We have had a policy in place for over 20 years that religious groups are not allowed to display posters. It is nothing against any particular church or group. It is a blanket ban which applies to all religious, political and commercial groups.”