Lidl apologises for removing church crosses from food packaging

The supermarket chain Lidl has apologised after it was found to have airbrushed Christian crosses from images on some of its food packaging. It said the 'mistake' would be rectified 'as soon as possible'.

ReutersA company logo is pictured outside a Lidl supermarket in Vienna, Austria, May 7, 2016.

Lidl came under heavy fire this week when it was found that the packaging of its Greek-themed Eridanous products depict images of the Greek Island of Santorini's blue-domed Orthodox churches – but the white crosses atop them have been removed from the image.

'We are sorry for any offence caused by the artwork on our Eridanous range. We can confirm that we will be revising the design as soon as possible,' the German retailer said in a statement.

It added: 'We made a mistake in the most recent revision of the product design and are now treating the issue with the highest priority.'

A Lidl spokesman had previously said that the discounter avoided religious symbols in a bid for 'diversity' and because it didn't wish to 'exclude any religious beliefs'.

In its most recent statement Lidl said the product design was not intended to convey any ideological standpoint.

Keep Talking GreeceLidl had removed crosses from churches on its Greek food packaging.

The UK's highest-ranking Greek Orthodox leader, the Archbishop Gregorios, Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, had previously demanded an apology and rectification of what he said was an offensive error.

He told Premier Christianity: 'It is immoral in my eyes to remove something which is there for 2,000 years and is the symbol that Christ died on the cross for you, for me, for millions of people.'

The Eridanous range is sold across Europe and includes halloumi, olive oil, Greek spices and baklava pastries.

Additional reporting by Reuters