Thursday, 26 November 2020

Prague archbishop denounces Lidl for erasing Greek cross

4 September 2017

Prague, Sept 3 (CTK) - The German Lidl supermarket chain having erased the cross from Orthodox churches on the Greek island of Santorini for its marketing campaign "Greek week" should be denounced, Prague Archbishop Cardinal Dominik Duka wrote in a letter for the ambassador of Greece on Sunday.

This is an unprecedented and immoral act, Duka said.

Lidl said it wanted to preserve religious and political neutrality.

"So far, 'only' falsification of photos occurs, but there are the fears that soon real crosses may be removed even from churches," Duka wrote.

"Our European civilisation is created by a number of roots, with Greek democracy and philosophy being one of the most important ones," he added.

"Their ignorance and suppression of their external expression bears witness of the priorities some businesspeople have," Duka said.

He wrote to the ambassador that he should accept the letter as a sign of support for Greece and also as a manifestation of resistance to the falsification of history and attack on cultural heritage of the whole mankind.

Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) also adopted a position on Lidl's marketing campaign.

"People themselves are to think of whether to support the campaign for the Greek week by doing shopping there this week," Jurecka told Czech Radio.

On Friday, Lidl said the firm certainly did not want to offend anyone.

"In this case, this was a product sold in many European markets simultaneously within the Greek week. The design of the packaging was not made in the Czech Republic, but it was created by an international team," Czech Lidl's spokesman Zuzana Hola said.

“We avoid the use of religious symbols because we do not want to exclude any religious beliefs,” another Lidl representative said.

Lidl is part of the German Schwarz supermarket chain with shops in 27 countries.

In the Czech Republic, it scored the record profit of four billion crowns in the financial year 2015/2016.

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