Barnabas Calls for Withdrawal of Scotland’s “Hate Crime” Posters That Promote Anti-Christian Prejudice

October 9, 2018

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Barnabas Fund called on the Scottish police to withdraw billboard posters launched by One Scotland on 26 September targeting “hate crime”; the posters appear to incite religious prejudice.

On 7 October the Sunday Times reported Barnabas Fund’s criticism of the poster campaign as a form of “state-sponsored hatred” that unfairly accuses people of religious faith.

A One Scotland poster reads: “Dear Bigots, you can’t spread your religious hatred here. End of sermon. Yours, Scotland.”

Using the word “sermon” seems to target religious groups including Christians, Jews and Muslims. Even the lettering used in one poster reinforces this association, being very similar to well-known typefaces used in some historic Bible imprints.

Barnabas’ CEO, Hendrik Storm, issued a statement saying he was “shocked” by the posters and had received complaints from Christians that the posters, “single out religious believers and call them out as ‘bigots’ without any real qualification”.

The typeface used in the “Dear Bigots …” poster is very similar to historic fonts, such as Baskerville, strongly linked with early printings of Christian Scripture and literature including the 1760 “Book of Common Prayer” and Baskerville’s 1763 Cambridge edition Bible. Baskerville designed his typeface because he wanted to print a Bible that people could read with clarity

Barnabas Fund has supported Christians who face prejudice and discrimination globally since 1993, but has never before felt it necessary to make a formal complaint of this kind in the UK. This form of state-sponsored prejudice is something that Barnabas is more used to encountering in countries where Christians are marginalised and persecuted minorities.

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United Kingdom