A US church’s advert telling people about an Easter service has been banned from cinemas and branded “too controversial” because it mentions the name of Jesus.
Watch the banned commercial
But the ad, which mentions the name of Jesus twice, has been banned from appearing on cinema screens by an advertising agency.
Senior Pastor of Compass Bible Church, Mike Farabez, said the church was told they could promote Easter services with a basic ad that had “some fun bunnies and eggs thrown in”, but “for us, Easter isn’t about springtime fun”.
He said: “It’s the most important day in Christian history, and we won’t water that message down. It’s unfortunate that what our country was founded on has now become ‘too controversial.'”
The ad agency said it has a policy of rejecting ads featuring religious figures and remarked some cinemagoers might be offended by such an ad.
The agency, NCM Media Networks, have a number of restrictions on the adverts it will show including curbs on nudity, alcohol and gambling.
The agency said they maintain sole discretion over what commercials they accept and that the church were given “the opportunity to revise its ad accordingly”.
However Pastor Farabez said the proposed revision of the ad included only advertising the last frame, which stated where and when the service would take place. Everything else would have been cut.
Pastor Farabez said: “They told us the ad was great, it looked nice. It’s just that we couldn’t put the name of Jesus in the ad.”
The commercial promotes an Easter service run by the church at a university campus.
It poses a number of possible theories about whether Jesus really did rise from the dead, before stating that the church does “actually believe in the resurrection”.