Banning Lord's Prayer Christmas ad in cinemas is 'ridiculous' and 'outrageous' say David Cameron and Boris Johnson

The agency that organises cinema adverts said it had pulled the advert in case it offended people 

Matt Dathan
Online political reporter
@matt_dathan
Monday 23 November 2015 12:35
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Church of England Cinema Advert

David Cameron thinks the decision to ban an advert promoting the Lord's Prayer in cinemas is "ridiculous," while Boris Johnson has condemned it as "outrageous".

The agency that organises adverts to be played before films at cinemas said it had pulled the advert in case it offended people.

It was due to be played ahead of the new Star Wars film in the week before Christmas.

Asked about the controversial decision on Twitter, Mr Johnson said he expects the ban to be reversed:

The Prime Minister's spokesman said Mr Cameron viewed the ban as "ridiculous" but refused to elaborate. The ad shows a number of people from different walks of life reciting the Lord's Prayer, starting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, walking through a park.

It is followed by a man paying tributes in a graveyard, then a police officer, a weightlifter, a farmer, a congregation at a wedding and a class of school children reciting the Christian prayer in the minute-long film.

The ad was released as part of the Church’s launch of justpray.uk, a “new website to promote the renewal of prayer in a digital age,” and was due to be screened UK-wide in Odeon, Cineworld and Vue cinemas ahead of showings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens before Christmas.

But the ad has been pulled by the Digital Cinema Media (DCM) agency, which handles advertising in cinemas for the three major UK chains.

Explaining its decision, DCM said it treats "all political or religious beliefs equally" and said it had a policy not to run adverts which could potentially cause offence.

The Church of England said it had been left "bewildered" by the decision not to show the advert.

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