Church tells cinemas to ban Christmas adverts in Lord’s Prayer riposte

The Church of England has lashed out at cinema chains for refusing to screen an advert featuring the Lord’s Prayer on religious grounds, telling them that such a rationale taken to its logical conclusion would see all lucrative Christmas advertising banned as well.

As the fall-out from Digital Cinema Media’s (DCM) decision not to screen the controversial ad, affecting chains including Odeon, Vue and Cineworld, continues to rumble on the Church hasn’t ruled out taking legal action to ensure its piece makes it to the big screen.

Speaking to The Telegraph Rev Arun Arora, the Church of England’s director of communications, hit back, saying: “If they want to be consistent on not carrying any ads that have any connection with religious belief, I'd like them to cancel all ads linked to Christmas as a Christian festival.

“If they'd like to apply it consistently, ban every ad that mentions Christmas.”

Defending its decision not to screen the piece DCM said that the advert risked ‘upsetting or offending’ audiences and that it had a long-standing policy in place banning commercials which promoted ‘any religion, faith or equivalent systems of belief.’

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.