Vevey, Switzerland, October 17, 2017
Despite the media storm surrounding German supermarket chain Lidl’s repeated decisions to emblazon their packaging with photo-shopped churches, the food and beverage giant Nestlé has made the same move, reports Breitbart.
Not only has the Switzerland-based company made the same call to remove the crosses from an iconic church, but it chose the exact same temple—the Church of the Resurrection on the Greek island of Santorini—that sparked the initial Lidl controversy early last month. The church is one of the most recognizable in Greece, with striking blue domes topping pure white walls, set against the backdrop of the crystal clear Aegean sea.
The French Carrefour retailer and the Greek Mevgal dairy company have had the same idea for their packaging, using photographs of Santorini churches with “amputated” domes and bell towers.
It came to light just a few days ago that Lidl has also airbrushed the crosses from a well-known church in the picturesque Italian village of Dolceascqua.
Following the initial controversy, a Lidl spokesperson stated, “Our intention has never been to shock, we avoid the use of religious symbols on our packaging to maintain neutrality in all religions, and if it has been perceived differently, we apologize to those who may have been shocked,” although the second-round controversy with the Italian church calls this apology into question.
Neither Nestlé nor Mevgal nor Carrefour have made any statements on the matter.
Clergy throughout Greece have urged the faithful to boycott the companies in question. A spokesman for the Church told The Times that the issue would also be raised at a Holy Synod meeting.
The Thira Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church, to which the famous Santorini churches belong, has already released a condemnatory response, stating, “As the holy metropolis is not a devotee of the theory of the ‘multicultural’ character of the monuments, we make it clear that counterfeiting in the photographic depiction of a holy church cannot be tolerated for reasons of political or commercial expediency. On the contrary, it betrays a lack of respect for the integrity and the sanctity of the monuments, and, unfortunately, a lack of education.”
The diocesan statement also condemned American rapper Rick Ross’s filming of a music video for his expletive-laden and blasphemous song “Santorini Greece” in and around the Church of St. Evstratios in Vourvourou, Thira, singing and dancing in front of the holy altar.