Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

'Accusations of terrorism are false', says Qatar's foreign minister

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Philando Castile's death poses questions that still need answering

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Costco piles products high to lure French consumers

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

When it's hot...how much skin can you show at work?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Top South African court okays secret ballots in Zuma no-confidence vote

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Paris Air Show: Big plane builders face increasing competition

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Brexit opens door for Macron to push for greater European integration

Read more

THE DEBATE

Macron's marching orders: New French president's first EU summit

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Handling the heatwave

Read more

France

Paris subway lifts ban on 'Christian' ad

© @proteus2013, Twitter

Text by FRANCE 24 , AFP

Latest update : 2015-04-06

France’s RATP, the company that operates the Paris subway, announced on Monday that it will allow an advertisement with the mention “Christians of the East” after coming under fire for initially refusing to display it.

French music group "The Priests" had planned to advertise their upcoming June concert in Paris with a poster sporting a banner that said proceeds would go towards the cause of Christians persecuted in places such as Iraq and Syria.

But the state-owned RATP firm that operates the subway and its advertising agency Metrobus ordered the group's producers to take off the banner, pointing in a statement issued last week to the public service's requirement for neutrality "in the context of an armed conflict abroad."

France is a deeply secular country where the state and religion are strictly separated.

Jean-Michel Di Falco Leandri, the bishop who created "The Priests", told AFP that Metrobus had previously explained the ban on the banner was due to "the religious nature of the mention 'Christians of the East'," and the ad was published without it.

"One must not confuse secularity, which we respect, with secular extremism which becomes a grotesque and ridiculous witch hunt," Di Falco Leandri said.

CHREDO, a French group that aims to raise awareness of the plight of Christians in areas such as the Middle East -- where they are currently being persecuted by jihadist groups -- has since asked a court to rule on the controversy and a hearing will take place on Wednesday.

(France 24 and AFP)
 

Date created : 2015-04-06

  • FRANCE - RELIGION

    Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France wants imams to learn secular values as part of new anti-radicalisation push

    Read more

COMMENT(S)