Leading UK cinema chain, Empire has banned a short Christian film for Remembrance Day for being too religious.
The film titled Wipe Every Tear was created by the Bible Society and is about the Bible comforting soldiers in the First World War. With footage of the First World War, the three minute short film features everyday people reading Revelation 21:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.”
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
The video explains that all British soldiers were given a Bible as part of their kit, and to many, it was a source of hope.
The video was to be shown on Armistice Day and had been cleared by advertising and film classification boards. According to the Bible Society, the cinema advertising company Pearl & Dean agreed to distribute the film. But in an email sent to the society last month, Pearl & Dean said Empire Cinemas, which has 125 screens at 14 venues across the UK, had declined to show the film.
Paul Woolley of the Bible Society said: “The Bible is not a ‘religious’ document, just for Christians or just for ‘religious’ life; it’s a book for everyone. It’s an historical fact that the Bible was a core part of a British soldier’s kit and that, to many, it was a source of hope.
“Of course Empire Cinemas is free to decide what they want to show or not. But we are saddened their customers won’t get a chance to reflect on the role of the Bible, past and present.”
Watch the short film:
This isn’t the first time UK cinemas have declined to show Christian adverts, three years ago, the Church of England tried to show an advert featuring the Lord’s Prayer but was also rejected.