British Prime Minister Theresa May has hit out at a major heritage group after it dropped the word “Easter” from its annual egg hunt.
Mrs. May criticised the National Trust, a major charity that preserves many of Britain’s historic sites, saying she did not know “what they are thinking”.
The Trust holds an Easter egg hunt that sees thousands of children search for chocolate eggs at many of its properties each year. However, this year it has been rebranded to remove any reference to the Christian feast.
Chocolate firm Cadbury, which sponsors the event, said they removed it to appeal to non-Christians. “We invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats,” they said.
However, speaking in the Saudi capital Riyadh, the Prime Minister told ITV News: “I’m not just a vicar’s daughter – I’m a member of the National Trust as well. I think the stance they’ve taken is absolutely ridiculous and I don’t know what they’re thinking about.
“Easter’s very important. It’s important to me, it’s a very important festival for the Christian faith for millions across the world.
“So I think what the National Trust is doing is frankly just ridiculous.”
The Archbishop of York also hit out at Cadbury, accusing the company of “spitting on the grave” of its Quaker founder.
“If people visited Birmingham today in the Cadbury World they will discover how [John] Cadbury’s Christian faith influenced his industrial output,” he said.
“He built houses for all his workers, he built a church, he made provision for schools etc. It is obvious that for him Jesus and justice were two sides of the one coin.
“To drop Easter from Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt in my book is tantamount to spitting on the grave of Cadbury.”
There are increasing instances of Christianity being airbrushed from British public life as ignorance of the country’s traditional faith grows.
In 2014, Oxford City Council refused to give permission for a “Passion play” – a re-enactment of the trial and crucifixion of Christ – to take place in the city’s streets because an official thought the word “passion” meant it was a sex show.
Oxford City Councillor Dick Wolff, who is also a United Reformed Church pastor, said: “Unfortunately, one of the city council’s licensing officers didn’t recognise that a Passion play on Good Friday was a religious event.”
“I think he thought it was a sex show, so he said it may be committing an offence.”