Christian symbols are being hidden or removed at funeral services in Scotland for fear that they will cause offence, it has emerged.
The Scottish Inspector of Crematoria reports that demands for the removal of Bibles and crosses by humanists and other minorities are on the rise.
The Humanist Society of Scotland has said failure to remove Christian symbols leaves their members “open to discrimination” under the Equality Act.
In his annual report, Robert Swanson wrote that concerns have been raised over “the presence of Christian religious symbols, particularly the ‘cross’ in chapels and gardens of remembrance”.
“There have been a number of occasions where at the request of applicants steps have been taken (where practical) to remove or conceal the cross for the duration of the service.”
Ciarán Kelly, a Deputy Director at The Christian Institute, warned against “creeping secularisation”.
He said: “It should hardly be surprising to anyone that in a country with our Christian heritage the cross of Christ will be visible in public places, especially somewhere like a crematorium.
“It seems that steps have already been taken to reasonably accommodate those few people with concerns. We should be wary of creeping secularisation in the guise of ‘equality’.”
The cross is increasingly being airbrushed from public life to avoid offending people.
Last year, budget supermarket Lidl came under fire for airbrushing images of the cross from its products.
Lidl’s range of Greek foods features images of the famous Anastasis Church in Santorini, with its distinctive blue dome roof.
However, customers noticed that the crosses which usually adorn the dome and surrounding buildings had been edited out.