A church in New South Wales was forced to remove the word "Jesus" from its Easter signs at a local shopping center out of fear non-Christians would be offended by the word.
Elim Church paid to display a sign that read "The Greatness of His Power - Jesus is Alive" at the Erina Fair shopping center. However, church leaders were shocked when they were told by the shopping center's management company Lendlease that the word "Jesus" could not be included on the sign, even though it was advertising an Easter event.
Instead, the church had to change the sign from "Jesus" to "Christ." Lendlease told Pastor Martin Duffy the word "Jesus" could have offended non-Christian shoppers.
"When we provided the advertisement I was told the statement 'Jesus is alive' is negative messaging and offensive," Dufy told CBN News. "This comes from the owners whose malls are increasingly filled with semi pornographic lingerie shops, profane language etc. But the word Jesus is offensive."
Lendlease has since changed its mind and will allow the word "Jesus" on the sign as previously requested by the church.
"It was an error of judgment to ask Elim Church to change its messaging, and we apologise unreservedly," a Lendlease spokesperson told CBN News in a statement. "Lendlease values diversity and inclusion, and we welcome people of all backgrounds at our shopping centres."
Duffy says the center even agreed to place the sign in more places around the mall than originally requested to compensate for their errors.