Shopping centre rejects Nativity display plans amid concerns over 'religious neutrality'

Shopping centre rejects Nativity display plans amid concerns over 'religious neutrality'

A SHOPPING centre has rejected a proposal for s display of the nativity scene on the grounds they "pride themselves on religious neutrality" over the festive season.

The Thistles in Stirling, Scotland, has come in for stiff criticism online after refusing to give permission to plans for a scene depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.

A Facebook campaign, titled Bring the Nativity Scene Back to The Thistles, Stirling first shed light on the issue.

Campaigners behind the group even enlisted the help of their local MP, Stephen Kerr, to help try and persuade the management team behind the shopping centre to change their minds.

Kerr's letter ultimately failed to prompt a change of heart though.

"While I understand that no one wants religious or political evangelists in a shopping centre, the request was simply to have a nativity, which would be manned and anyone approaching could ask about it," a post on the Facebook group reads.

"I'm not particularly religious myself, but I do feel this is a real shame and double standards," it continues.

"Especially since I don't recall The Thistles marking any other key events in other religions calendars. So, neutral they are not. I fully expect - and would enjoy! - to see Diwali and Eid al-Fitr at a minimum promoted by the Thistles if this is the case. I'm pretty sure Easter was also promoted?"

The story comes just a couple of months after students at a school in the US were told they would not be singing any carols that include the word "Jesus" this Christmas.

Pupils at Robious Middle School were told they wouldn't be singing any songs involving Jesus due to the "sacred nature" of Christ, as a few children "weren't comfortable" with the idea.

The plans went down badly with parents, who argued that the idea went against the very notion of inclusivity that the school was trying to promote.