A shopping centre in Stirling has reversed its decision to ban a nativity scene following criticism from the general public.
Thistles Shopping Centre originally rejected an application to allow a nativity scene on the grounds that the centre was “religiously and politically neutral”.
Thistles relented following customer complaints, saying: “We’ve listened carefully to everyone who contacted us about the installation and have decided to reverse our original decision.”
The original decision was branded “Grinch-like” in the media. The Church of Scotland said it was “very disappointing that the true meaning of Christmas has been completely lost here”.
Thistles’ stance prompted members of the public to stage their own ‘living nativity’ at the centre in protest.
John Mallon and friend Elena Feick dressed as Mary and Joseph and chatted with shoppers to highlight the shopping centre’s decision.
A spokeswoman for The Church of Scotland said: “We are delighted that the Thistles Centre has been inspired with the spirit of Christmas”.
The Christmas message was also lost at this year’s traditional celebration of Christkindl (Christ-child) Market in Kitchener, Ontario, where Christmas Bible readings were drowned out during the annual festivities.
Following carols, a woman had her microphone switched off when she began to read from Luke’s gospel and loud music was played.
City staff later told her there could be no readings from Scripture during the event.
A local pastor also had his microphone switched off when he began to tell the festival-goers about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.