Johannesburg. A retailer in South Africa has had to remove the Muslim food certification symbol of a crescent from the packaging on some of its hot cross buns after conservative Christians complained.
The move by Woolworths followed an online campaign in which Christians said they would boycott its supermarkets over the use of the Halal label on the traditional Easter spiced bun.
The Cape Times newspaper reported Thursday that the Woolworths supermarket said it would release two separate lines of the baked goods in future — one bearing the Halal certificate and another without the marking of an Islamic council’s crescent.
“It’s sad to hear the Woolies we supported all these years turned their backs on Christians,” one online comment read.
Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference spokesperson Chris Townsend said the reaction was over the top and noted that “hot cross buns are only a symbol.” “There are a lot more weighty issues to deal with in South Africa than a few ‘hot cross Christians,’” he said.
Christians previously challenged Woolworths when it decided to stop carrying a deeply religious magazine targeting the community, citing poor sales.