The firm operating the Paris subway has come under fire for apparently pushing France’s beloved secularity too far with its refusal to display an ad with the mention “Christians of the East.”
Agence France-Presse/Raw Story
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.”
But 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.
France is a deeply secular country where the state and religion are strictly separated.