For fear of offending movie goers, a new Church of England advert featuring The Lord’s Prayer has been banned from cinemas across the UK.
The advert features a broad spectrum of people, including Archbishop of Canterbury – Justin Welby and Bazil Meade with members of the London Community Gospel Choir, in different scenarios depicting various walks of life. They are all reciting the Lord’s Prayer and the advert ends with the message “Prayer is for Everyone”.
The minute long video was created to promote the Church of England’s #JustPray campaign for the launch of justpray.uk which is a “new website to promote the renewal of prayer in a digital age,”. The advert had been given Cinema Advertising Association (CAA) approval and was due to appear on cinema screens nationwide before showings of the new Star Wars film in the week before Christmas. However, Digital Cinema Media (DCM) agency later decided to block screenings of the advert at Odeon, Cineworld and Vue (3 of the largest UK cinema chains) citing its company policy of not showing political or religious advertising in its cinemas over concerns that ads reflecting these personal beliefs risked upsetting, or offending, audiences.
At the news of the ban Archbishop Welby and the Church of England spoke of their disappointment and bewilderment of the DCM’s decision to ban the advert. As the news became public many took to social media to voice their opinions on the matter:
Cinema chains banning an ad that features The Lords Prayer beyond belief. Surely we are bigger than this. #JustPray
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) November 22, 2015
— Mark Russell (@markrusselluk) November 23, 2015
— Mark (@Wibbersengland) November 22, 2015
The church has threatened legal action for religious discrimination and said in a statement that the ban could have a ‘chilling effect’ on free speech.[spacer style=”1″]
Over to you
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