Christian campaign criticised in Prague

22-12-2023

Central Europe

CNE.news

Photo Twitter, @ZdenekHrib

Leaders in the Czech capital Prague are concerned about a Christian advertisement campaign , because of unease with religion in the public area. Others see no issue with it. “The initiative brings together many churches across denominations.”

“I am the door. Jesus”, reads a passenger when he steps into a Prague tram. If he looks elsewhere, he reads another text signed by Jesus, the Czech newspaper Idnes writes. The inscriptions are part of an evangelical initiative that uses the tram’s advertising space. But not everyone is happy with it.

The Prague deputy mayor, Zdeněk Hřib, thinks that the rules for advertising in the capital should be changed. “Is it okay for a tram to function as a recruitment campaign for religious organisations?”, he asked on X earlier this month. “Or would there be a need to tweak the rules for tying up trams a bit so as not to create a circus?”

Meanwhile, the Prague Public Transport Company (DPP) has defended itself. It says it does not control advertising directly but rather leases out the advertising spaces to companies, who then rent spaces to clients. Nevertheless, DPP head Daniel Šabík confirmed to Idnes that the Jesus-related ads fully comply with legislation, reports expats.cz.

Donations

The man behind this advertising is Josef Bajzík, a member of the Apostolic Church. “The initiative brings together many churches across denominations,” he explains to Idnes, noting that church donations finance the tram advertising campaign.

After reading the QR code on the advertisements, someone will be taken to a website with information about the intention to raise awareness of Jesus Christ and Christianity in a modern and non-violent way.

The DPP sees no problem with the advertisements. “Who else but a church should promote Jesus”, a spokesman said. “We would have a problem when an advertisement with Jesus promotes yoghurt.”

Chain

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