This week I found myself in the Mosque here in Exeter. It had been planned weeks ago as part of inter faith week but in the shadow of the events of last week in Paris my visit gained a greater degree of significance.
I stood in the prayer room of the Mosque with the Imam and we spoke of this as a place of prayer and peace. This is a common experience of many faiths. Christian Cathedrals and churches are also places of prayer and peace.
Today came the announcement that country’s three largest cinema chains Odeon, Cineworld and Vue – who control 80% of cinema screens around the country – have refused to show an advert of the Lord’s Prayer because they believe it “carries the risk of upsetting, or offending, audiences”.
The Lord’s Prayer is so much part of our culture; prayer is such a universal phenomenon, for those of faith or no faith, and the advert having received clearance from both the Cinema Advertising Authority and British Board of Film Classification is gentle and does nothing to apply pressure.
In the light of resent violent events which seek to bring disunity should we not be allowing something which is peaceful and creates common understanding between faiths?