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Lidl erases Church crosses from Greek emblematic landscape on food packaging

You want a picturesque Greek scenery with the church, but you’re bothered to see a cross, claiming reasons of falsely understood political correctness? Then you just remove the cross – in this case: several crosses… It sounds unbelievable but it’s true. It happened in Belgium and the photoshop was done by a well-known German supermarket chain.

The incident became public by network RTL, when a Belgian customer of Lidl complained about the rude photoshop.

“I am shocked to see the Lidl shops that sell Greek products erase part of the Greek landscape and culture, ” a custumer Antoine wrote to RTL and sent the pictures he was talking about.

Avant – Before: original scenery


Apres: After – Church as Moussaka deco

The first picture shows one of the most beautiful landscapes of Greece, almost emblematic. It is not the Acropolis of Athens but a small Orthodox church with intense blue domes that contrasts with the white of its walls and which stands on a cliff side on the island of Santorini, a real jewel of the Mediterranean.

This landscape that has been chosen to illustrate the packaging of the Greek product series ERIDANOUS “Original Greek Product”. Moussaka, yogurt, pistachios or feta are sold at Lidl under this brand and the photo of the beautiful Orthodox church and its cupolas in intense blue. But a little detail made Antoine indignant. On all these packages the crosses have disappeared. They have been simply erased.

To the text above, adds “we asked Lidl spokesman about the reason for the withdrawal. “We avoid the use of religious symbols because we do not want to exclude any religious beliefs,” the representative of the German supermarket giant replied. “We are a company that respects diversity and this is what explains the design of this packaging,” he added. One can legitimately ask why the group’s marketing departments did not directly opt for a landscape without a religious monument.

Following the wave of outrage provoked by this article, the Lidl group apologized. “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” , said the spokesman on Thursday afternoon, according to RTL info.

In a poll on its website, RTL asked “Remove the crosses from the Greek landscape on its packaging “out of respect for diversity” and to exclude “no religious beliefs”?

By 714 votes so far: 88% respondents said they are against, 7% said they agreed and 4% said they had no opinion.

And you? What do you think?

"Remove the crosses from the Greek landscape on its packaging "out of respect for diversity" and to exclude "no religious beliefs"?

View Results

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Not just in Belgium

Meanwhile, I have received feedback that this ERIDANUS is sold also in UK, France, the Netherlands – and Cross is removed too.

Image may contain: food

picture from UK

from France

Personal opinion

I personally consider Lidl’s explanation as simply dumb, absurd, unrefined and moronic. It shows what poor IQs without culture can produce when they get together in one department. Choosing a religious symbol, a church, then claim to maintain neutrality in religion  and religious diversity while you abuse exactly this symbol?

Are you ffffffff kidding me?

“Not want to exclude other religious beliefs?” Man, the devil is in detail, in the pork meat in Moussaka, Gyros and Meatballs.

If you don’t want to offend or shock anyone, then do not put the picture of a church but something else instead: a cute Greek piglet swimming in bechamel source surrounded by aubergines and zucchinis, a smiling little Greek lamb jumping around in a lake of tomato sauce and a white Greek mama goat whirling round and round a gyros rotisserie.

An Original Greek Product with a fake church?

Image result for gif no no

Difficult to make big business with such a small brain.

PS it has nothing to do with any religious belief, it has to do with respecting one’s culture. I suppose LIDL does not sell Christmas decoration to not offend non-Christians?

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  1. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    It’s perhaps similar to the Swiss idea that mosques should not be allowed to have minarets. On my part, I accept all religions other than some of the horrific US “Christian” ones. But that does not mean accepting that one religion defines a country, when clearly there are many religons of the population of that country. In the case of Greece, this means Greek muslims, Greek protestants, Greek catholics, Greek atheists, as well as Greek orthodox – not to mention the diverse religions of recent immigrants to Greece.

    However, photoshopping churches is just ridiculous.

  2. This is really insulting and commercially this is also a very bad move because since the packaging is decorated with a falsified/fake Greek landscape on it, is the product inside a geniune Greek product coming from Greece ?

    Especially since some years ago, some European countries like France were selling fake feta cheese (example : the “feta” Salakis).

    NB: The Cross has also been removed on the yogurts’ packaging of the Milbona brand which are sold in France by Lidl. And all that said, the products sold by Eridanous and Milbona are geniune, at least for the feta and Yogurts (not tested the rest).

  3. It is absurd to suggest that removing religious symbols ‘encourages religious diversity’. Erasing the symbols of one of the world’s major religions doesn’t improve diversity it just encourages intolerance. Diversity comes from embracing that which is different, from understanding and accepting beliefs that are contrary to ours, diversity comes from tolerance. I don’t believe that there can be a single person in the world who doesn’t understand that Greece is a Christian country, so seeing Christian crosses on obviously Greek churches is hardly going to come a a surprise! Who could possibly be offended by that?

  4. All that outrage.
    Theodosius I photoshopped almost all of your heritage ~1700 years ago.
    Not to mention the artists who made all those wonderfull statues of the old gods, half-gods and heroes.
    “Sculptureshopping” anyone?
    Lidl is a bit confused though, obviously.

  5. Actually is against the law to promote products with the use of the religion. (You cannot use god , churches , crosses or anything)
    So thats WHY they erased it. End of story!

  6. That’s weird and I believe it is a fake piece of news as Lidl sells every year products related to christian religion during Christmas and Easter. No logic whatsoever. And I watched the photos from the products, they are not actual photos, but a stylized drawing copying the original picture, nothing else. In stylized images the small details usually disappear (the cross on those churches is extremely small comparing with the building).

  7. To: Martin Baldwin-Edwards
    Are you for real? Where are their Greek Protestants, Greek Catholics,
    Greek Atheists and Greek Muslims?
    The country and its people are Christian, Greek Orthodox.
    Anyone else living there and who has arrived there doesn’t make them Greek. When you’re taking a picture of Greece’s landscape, respect its culture and don’t be ignorant about it. That’s like saying Saudi Arabia is diverse, no it’s not, it’s a Muslim country so don’t go taking pictures of that countries beautiful landscape and remove their mosques. Respect the country you’re in and it’s beliefs. That’s being diverse and accepting them for what they believe in.

  8. And PS Martin, “YES”, depending on the country, it is defined by one religion. Just because others have moved there or were born there doesn’t change what the people of Greece are.
    We’re not talking about the U.K., Canada, Australia and the U.S. Where one religion defines them because clearly it doesn’t. We’re talking about Greece and other countries that are defined by one religion, and there are many.

  9. Everyone should boycott Lidl. I know I will. In any case most of their products are cheap and nasty–only they aren’t really very cheap, considering the quality of their ingredients.

    Lidl did not have to use an image of a church to represent Greece. To do so and then remove the crosses is to deny Greece’s cultural heritage. Unfortunately, many northern Europeans do not even realize that Greece is Christian, and the round domes without crosses may suggest that we are a Muslim nation. Once in a guidebook a saw a Greek church referred to as a “magnificent domed mosque”. So a picture of a church without a cross may easily be taken for a picture of a mosque.

    Political correctness is going too far. Why, anyway, is it “politically correct” to have no religious symbols in society, especially when those symbols represent the history and beliefs of a majority of that society’s people? The west is going a bit crazy these days. And the danger is, when you get rid of religion, along with its symbolism, you will as a society lose your moral compass as well as the cement that holds society together. You may choose to avoid wearing religious symbols yourself, and you may choose not to decorate your home or office with them, but to demand that others do that is not your right. This form of political correctness is going to end in strife and disaster, since the people who have been deprived of their religion and its symbols will come to resent the minority for whose sake it was done.


  10. So…. let me see if I get this right: Greece should give up all history, legacy and culture in order not to offend someone? This is not political correctness, this is stupid marketing and bad management. Political correctness aims not to discriminate. Photoshopping crosses off churches is not politically correct! It discriminates Greece and greek culture. It shows fake images and uses those images to promote sales. Try again, Lidl, but this time use a brain, for crying out loud!

  11. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @Dora: I am sorry that you are not well informed about your own country. There are a lot of Greek Catholics on Tinos and I think one or two other islands; there are Greek Muslims in Thraki and also Western Athens; there are a lot of Greek atheists everywhere including my own professional contacts; and there are a few Greek Protestants in the Greek diaspora (and presumably a small number live in Greece). The claim that all Greeks are Orthodox is right wing propaganda, and nothing else.

  12. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    Aghh, yes! Thanks KTG, and my apologies to the Greek Jewish community for my omission.

  13. Anyone who is offended by just the sight of a cross, minaret, crescent moon, yarmulke, Hindu turban, Christmas tree is nothing more than a brainwashed moron and should go back to the country where he/she/it feels comfortable. With all the pressing, serious, existential problems in the world it is absolutely amazing how people (and corporations) waste their time and energy on this politically correct rubbish. Maybe immigrants should undergo a simple IQ test before being admitted. Disgusting.

  14. According to Breitbart Article

    Searching the company’s product range online appears to show a number of items with are certified as Halal — which is to say, slaughtered in accordance with controversial Islamic religious requirements, so as to be permissible for devout Muslims to eat.

    Some of these products appear to feature logos featuring minarets or buildings with minarets — Islamic religious architecture from which the ‘call to prayer’ is issued five times a day by a muezzin (crier).

  15. 90% of Greece is orthodox and and it is recognised as the prevailing religion by the constitution and orthodoxy is recognised as the state religion. As much as the snowflakes want to change or alter our identity and who we are , those are the facts.

  16. Well the flag has a cross on it to symbolize that Greece is a Christian Orthodox nation. Lidl not use the flag either!
    As for the argument that Greece is many religions please refer to my flag statement!

  17. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @Steven: the figure of 90% is meaningless. It comes from the Greek police and refers to the religion previously recorded on the taftotita — this inclusion that Adolf Hitler gave to Greece in order to find and exterminate Jews. It is a disgrace to Christianity that the Orthodox Church campaigned for it to be retained.

    Many atheists especially are forced into keeping the Orthodox religion in appearance only or it would damage their employment opportunities. As someone posted above, Greece is almost a theocracy — and completely backward in comparison with the rest of the developed world.

  18. ok, the whole thing is just an example of how inadequate and dangerous iis the ruling capitalist class and its brainlets to provide a social vision (tolerance, multiculturalism etc) with any coherence, and not just exaggerating existing divisions and conflict. They’re just the polar juxtaposition of right-wing nationalist nutjobs with their muh “Greece is 3000 years orthodox”.

  19. Lidl …Shame on you!

  20. !!!Watch this LIDL 6/2017 –

  21. The same thing with nestle Brazil

  22. @Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    “As someone posted above, Greece is almost a theocracy — and completely backward in comparison with the rest of the developed world.”

    By that last comment, you have demonstrated thoroughly your own ideological handicaps and ignorance. Theocracy? Backward? You mean like imperialist nations in Europe that in the 21st century still are trying to control countries in Asia and Africa through many bloody wars? The “developed” countries you speak of? Hilarious, it would have been, had it not have been that tragic. And for the record, there is constitutionally recognised freedom of religion in Greece, as well as an official doctrine, to which the majority subscribes, albeit OPTIONALLY. So, you see, you need to shake off those ideological blinders of yours. Fully in fact and direct your criticism against the “developed” countries bloody policies and hypocrisy – killing Muslims widely outside Europe in ridiculous wars but pretending to care about offending the minorities in Europe.

  23. It’s only meaningless to those with no meaning in their own life.

    What appearance would that be ? What a delusional world you live in where a employer asks what religion you are in Greece. Orthodox faith is the basis of Greeks and greece, no matter how much hatred you have towards it.

    What is a disgrace is migrants who don’t like our country, criticise and want us to change to their version of Greece. Just like the “doctors and engineers”who flood the shores. You as other have options since you dislike Greece so much and are so critical at every single post.

  24. As someone who lives in Canada, let me make some comments.
    1. Our predominant religion is Christian. It is still the largest population. Yes, there are muslims, jews, all “varieties” of Christians, Buddhists and every other possible religion (I’m sure Jedi too!)
    2. We have mosques in the city of Toronto WITHOUT minarets. We also have churches without bell towers. The bells are not allowed to ring (where there ARE bell towers with working bells) except on special occasions – not every Sunday or every time there is a service.
    3. We would never think of photoshopping another’s religious symbols. They wanted to represent Santorini, pick another picture. That particular picture is very famous and widely available on the internet. In fact, if you google Santorini and look at the images, it’s one of the first images that comes up.
    4. Many laws in Canada reflect the predominantly Christian makeup of Canada. Up until fairly recently, the province of Quebec wanted to draw up a code of conduct for its Muslim citizens . There is a perpetual push to remove all religious symbols EXCEPT the cross in large parts of the country. There is still religious and immigrant intolerance. You hear people wanting to let in only the “correct” people.
    5. There’s an easy way to make your displeasure felt: boycot LIDL. Grab your wallet and don’t give the Germans any more money.

  25. You say Greece is almost a theocracy. You want to see a theocracy? Why don’t you go to Iran. Now there’s a theocracy.
    I find it hypocritical as someone said to take away the Christian cross away from a church so as not to offend anybody and yet it’s ok to eat halal products. So as not to offend Muslims. I am not happy to eat halal products but as a lot of the products I need have it I don’t have much of a choice. Do I?
    @ Dimitris it isn’t against the law if that’s what defines the building. If it was against the law they would have used the acropolis. They shouldn’t use a church and then take away the Christian cross. That’s against the law because you are tampering with a brand label. So if anything Lidl should be sued for that.

  26. KTG~~~Thank you for this article. Lidl has just opened stores in the United States and Breitbart has picked up your article along with other news agencies. Let the people decide if they want to shop there now.

  27. Outré ! Nous somme en terre chrétienne ! je n’irais plus chez Lidl.

  28. It´s a disgusting dhimmitude a submission under islamic rule!
    I will never enter a LIDL super market again.

  29. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @EP. It is your ignorance that is remarkable. Greece has a history of intolerance of all religions other than Greek Orthodoxy. That intolerance has not come from the Constitution (although the linkage between a state and a religion is highly problematic and inappropriate in the modern world) but from violent behaviour of the population. Try reading some history of Greece instead of posting your opinions.
    @Dora. Iran is a theocracy, and is open about it. Iran is marginalised from the western world, whereas Greece claims to be part of it. I do not condone removing crosses from churches, as I made clear in my original post. On Halal products, my understanding is that the decision to impose these on us is a capitalist decision to maximise profits. The solution is to demand proper labelling by law, and to refuse to buy such products. There is no good reason why we should be forced to eat Halal food, I agree.
    @Michel. Non, l’Europe n’a jamais été une terre chrétienne. Même si les catholiques étaient la majorité claire, l’Europe a toujours été multiculturelle avec de nombreuses religions. Les personnes qui affirment autrement sont fascistes – répétant le dogme d’Hitler et de Mussolini.

  30. Same situation in Czech Republic. Most of people are against this.

  31. An odd decision, and really rather unnecessary. A rather hilarious overreaction on many parts, though, as well. “I’m boycotting Lidl” etc. – honestly, that’s as silly as the (wholly imaginary) outrage felt by these (entirely hypothetical) shoppers who would be shocked to see the crosses there in the first place.

    I’m betting this was a decision taken by maybe one or two people who were trying to comply with a broader policy that was not drafted with such cases in mind. As a result they made a silly (but ultimately trivial) misjudgement. Most likely no one even noticed the ‘shopping – whoever signs off on the packaging probably had no idea the crosses had been removed.

    It’s a storm in a doll’s-house teacup.

  32. @ EP

    You are right. The most backward nations in the world right now are the US, EU and the US’s bootlicker the UK. Calling those governments progressive is ludicrous. Better a theocracy than a destructive gang of thieves. The US and UK (as cradle of democracy!) have totally lost the moral bearings. It is obvious now that the EU never had any.

  33. If Lidl do not wish the cross to appear on the Greek churches, then they should not use Greek Orthodox church images on their products! Shame on them, who in the name of money they are ready to sell away their own mothers! But what is to be expected from former Nazi sympathizers!!!

  34. People who are Christians or don’t agree with Litter’s political correctness games aimed against one religion which is the majority religion in all of the countries they “serve” should boycott this company and never ever again step a foot into their stores and hopefully this disgusting company with all it’s low quality food will be forced to shut down and spare the people of Europe of it’s misery, low hygiene and extremely bad service.

  35. I will never ever step a foot in their horrible stores again and give them my hard earned money. For me this was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. The only way we can fight against these huge corporations is that we STOP giving them our money.

  36. Martin Baldwin-Edwards
    Europe is not only Catholic. If u believe so, your ignorance shows the size of your ideolepsy, which makes all your verbalism nosense.
    I dont believe any civilized person in the word will be offended by the religious symbols of the other, because the Ccivilization equals tolerance. The intolerants pretend been offended, as part of their agenda. No tolerance is the core of barbarity. If someone uses this “offended” fairytale makes himself an barbarian, folower to the Nazi, Fascist, Islamic,Kommunist etc ideologies, just an enemy of the Civilization.

  37. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @Mixail. Where did I state that Europe is Catholic? Nowhere. I wrote in French that “even if Catholics were the clear majority” — in the past tense. Europe has been the locus of politico-religious conflict for a thousand years or so, and of course is not confined to Catholicism or even Christianity. Now is the time for religion in Europe to be completely separated from politics, and religious belief to be a matter of personal choice.

  38. This is just blatant racism and ignorance. If a muslim can’t bare to se a christian cross, they should just stay away from Europe.

  39. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @Juste. There are plenty of Muslim Europeans, including Muslim Greeks. It’s your comment that’s racist. And I don’t suppose it was Muslims who photoshopped the photos anyway – more like ‘politically correct’ white men from northern Europe.

  40. You believers can worship your gods in the churches. Please don’t do it in my shop. Thank you.

  41. Actually a lot of retailers have stopped selling anything to do with Christmas –in fact Albert Heyn has stopped selling any and all products associated with Christmas so as not to offend Muslims. The fact is that Muslims are offended at most things European, including Christianity, pork, uncovered women, non-Muslims, etc. The fact is that they will act as a block and will boycott anything and everything that “offends them”… so eventually all the corporate money-grabbers will be limited by what Muslims will accept. Because Europeans are too selfish and too individualistic, they will lose any say-so that they may have had in the past because they will never act as a group to effectuate policies.

    In most schools in Germany pork sausage and pork meat is no longer on school menus because of the opposiition of Muslims. It’s just a matter of time. Germany is actively fostering its citizens to convert to Islam by portrayals of ethnic Germans as evil and violent and portraying muslims as oppressed and big-hearted.

  42. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @Dan Cobb. I have never read so much nonsense in my life. Germans celebrate Christmas enthusiastically, as always. And the idea that anyone in Germany wants Germans to convert to Islam is delusional and completely invented. This is just Islamophobic hate speech, and KTG should delete it as a matter of legal duty.

  43. In removing Christian symbols I hope they remove the cross emblem from all the Scandinavian flags and, of course, from the Union flag of the UK which is made of nothing but crosses. After all what is diversity if you don’t remove every Christian symbol. Everyone intelligent knows real diversity involves the REMOVAL of differences esp Western Christian items. We should have more diversity and in the interests of diversity remove all differences and in that way everybody can be diverse.

    • in this sense, all crescents should be removed from all muslim countries for the sake of ‘real diversity’ otherwise we deal here with the exploitation of one group’s tolerance by an intolerant group.