Christmas cards with Christian themes are being squeezed off the shelves by the proliferation of secular cards for the season, a report in the Daily Mail suggests.
The newspaper looked at 6,576 individual Christmas cards being sold by the four major supermarket chains – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – and found that a mere 36 (0.5%) featured traditional Christian imagery.
Among the multi-packs, only 5% of the 1,337 on sale at the stores visited by the newspaper contained at least one card reflecting the Christian meaning behind the season.
The supermarket chain most likely to sell an individual Christian Christmas card was Morrisons (1.7%). Tesco and Sainsbury’s fared slightly better in the multipacks, with 6.2% and 6.7% respectively.
Lagging considerably behind was Asda, which had the lowest percentage of Christian-themed single cards and multi-packs – just 0.15% and 3% respectively.
The supermarkets defended their selection to the paper.
Asda said its range of cards “meet the demand of our customers”.
Sainsbury’s said: “It is wrong to suggest we are ignoring religious themes at Christmas.”
Christians are concerned that religious Christmas cards are being dropped from the shelves because they might offend customers of other faiths or none.
Dr Don Horrocks, of the Evangelical Alliance, told the Mail: “There appears to be an aversion in society to Christianity being public.
“Supermarkets appear to be ashamed to put cards on shelves because there is a perception it is dodgy. Half a per cent of cards with religious themes when 70 per cent of people describe themselves as Christian shows this is totally out of kilter with the country.”
There was also disappointment over the surge in profane Christmas cards on offer in the last few years.
Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, told the Mail: “You don’t have to be a prude to see this is inappropriate at what is, after all, a special time for families.”