Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain is demanding an apology from Lidl. The supermarket giants digitally removed the crosses from the top of an iconic Greek church from their food packaging, causing a stir among some shoppers.
This included a vocal protest from our Greek and Cypriot community based in the UK, who think that Lidl are seizing upon the ‘marketing ploy’ by featuring the German supermarkets own Greek product brand, Eridanous. These often feature meatballs, moussaka, halloumi and Greek style yoghurt.
People turned to social media and the company’s Facebook page in protest at Lidl erasing roof-mounted crosses from a picture of an iconic Greek Orthodox Church on the Greek island of Santorini.
The Archbishop reflected the protest this week stating faith believers and Greeks alike felt it was a deeply offensive act.
His Eminence said: “They [have] hurt the Christians – not only the Greeks because it was a Greek church – but the Christians [from] what I read. I hope that many others will protest against this silly decision.”
Archbishop Gregorios agreed that the editing decision was ”an immoral act”, adding: ”It is immoral in my eyes to remove something which has been there for 2,000 years and is the symbol that Christ died on the cross for you, for me, for millions of people.
”The company must restore the church and apologise to the public… without making a fuss. This is my suggestion.”
Following the archbishop’s comments, Lidl UK said it had nothing to add to its previous statement: “We are extremely sorry for any offence caused by the most recent artwork and would like to reassure our customers that this is not an intentional statement.”
A number of shoppers contacted Lidl UK’s Facebook page and pledged to boycott the store until the package decision was reversed.
Lidl UK signalled a willingness to bow to customer concerns, saying: “We will ensure that all feedback is taken into consideration when redesigning future packaging.”
Updated: 07/09/2017 Lidl says its food packaging which included the picture of a church with its crosses digitally removed will be changed “as soon as possible”.