Supermarket Giant, Lidl, Faces Backlash and Customer Boycott for Editing Iconic Crosses from Range of Food Packaging.
Only days after breaking, the story of Lidl and the missing crosses has gone viral and is provoking a backlash against the European supermarket giant which erased the Christian symbol from packaging to ‘’remain neutral’’ on religious matters.
For those that missed it, the controversy erupted over packaging for a range of Greek food products, featuring images of an iconic blue-domed church from the island of Santorini – minus its white crosses which had been edited out of the picture.
In protest, a Czech man, Martin Zapletal, embarked on a tour of his home town’s three Lidl stores, dressed as a medieval Penitent and carrying a 3-foot-tall wooden crucifix.
Martin Zapletal, left, about to ”bless” the products in question at a Lidl supermarket in Olomouc, Czech Republic Tuesday.
‘’Yes, the crucifixes were real, and very old’’, Zapletal explained to The Gateway Pundit, ‘’but the costumes were improvised.’’
Inside each supermarket, Zapletal, and a friend dressed in white robes, proceeded to ‘’bless goods that lacked the cross’’, engaging interested customers in discussion and filling carts with the offending goods only to leave them at the check-outs without paying.
‘’Was it more a prank or a serious action?’’ The Gateway Pundit enquired of the former Czech soldier and military police officer turned activist.
‘’We in the Czech Republic like different kinds of humor. We’re known for that and we wanted to highlight what is a very serious issue – the censorship of Christian identity across Europe.’’
European culture is retreating in the face of Islam, or rather it is being deliberately removed by those seeking to use Islam as a tool to destroy it, the 37-year-old elaborated. First the crosses go; what follows leads to scenarios already seen in Kosovo and in previous episodes of history; war and cultural conquest.
‘’We’re at home here. Our rules apply. If anyone doesn’t like it, he can leave’’, Zapletal continued from a small village near Olomouc, a university town in Eastern Bohemia Thursday morning.
‘’This goes far beyond the decisions of this one supermarket chain’’, he stated, adding that large foreign populations are being invited into Europe to deliberately divide the continent, a project so advanced that conflict is already inevitable, he believes.
Serious subject matter arising from what on the surface could appear to be a Halloween prank. The Czechs, however, are a contemplative lot, and the Central European nation is very much following the wider context of Zapletal’s protest. He says he has received a ‘’great positive response’’ following his actions taken at Lidl on Sunday and Tuesday.
The ”shopping trips” ended with police being called by store management, accusing the pair of frightening customers and damaging their merchandise. False, the activist countered – it was Czech tradition and the cross that were being discriminated against; ‘’I am a citizen. I am a patriot. We must all take a stand against evil.’’
Meanwhile crosses were affixed by unrelated activists to the doors of Lidl stores in Prague on Sunday, and in Brno, the Czech Republic’s second largest city, on Monday.
Elsewhere the chain’s Facebook pages have been inundated with negative comments, with many irate customers pointing out that there is no censorship of the minarets and crescent emblems which adorn certain Halal food products.
The otherwise popular low-cost brand, which operates 10,000 outlets in Europe, has apologized for any offense, stating that the issue is being examined ‘’with the highest priority.’’
Zapleta, for his part, is no stranger to controversy or creative protest. In May 2016, the young war veteran was arrested and received a suspended sentence for mooning a NATO military convoy passing through the Czech Republic en route to exercises in the Baltic Sea.
‘’I stopped an entire convoy with my bare backside’’, he joked from his home in rural Bohemia, citing opposition to NATO saber-rattling towards Russia as the reason for his 2016 protest.