The Bishop of Burnley has given his reaction to the banning of a cinema advert issued by the Church of England.
Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. Philip North branded the decision by the country’s three main cinemas to ban the advert which features the Lord’s Prayer as “strange”.
With events in Brussels and Paris, we live in a world that needs prayer more than everBishop
The advert was developed to mark the launch of a new website (justpray.uk) to promote the renewal of prayer in a digital age.
It features Christians from all walks of life, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Justin Welby, each praying one line of The Lord’s Prayer.
Bishop North said: “Suggesting that the language of prayer can cause offence is strange in the extreme.
“I have been praying for people ever since I was a Christian and have never known it cause offence to anyone!
“While this act of censorship has been helpful in giving plenty of publicity to the justpray.uk website, I hope that common sense will now prevail and those responsible will change their decision.
“With events in Brussels and Paris, we live in a world that needs prayer more than ever.”
The website creates a place for prayer with advice on what prayer is and how to pray.
The site also provides a “live prayer” feed of prayers being prayed across the globe via Twitter, Instagram and Vine with the hashtag #justpray.
Despite the film receiving clearance from both the Cinema Advertising Authority and British Board of Film Classification, the country’s three largest cinema chains – Odeon, Cineworld and Vue – which control 80% of cinema screens around the country – won’t be showing the advert because they believe it “carries the risk of upsetting, or offending, audiences.”