An effort to drop the word Easter from a national egg hunt in England to appeal to non-Christians was criticized by Prime Minister Theresa May and the Church of England, the Washington Post reports.
The egg hunt is sponsored by the National Trust, a charity that promotes conservation. Around 300,000 children are expected at 250 National Trust sites for this year’s event. Cadbury will provide the chocolate eggs for the hunt.
The Post received a statement from the Church of England saying that the marketing campaign “highlights the folly in airbrushing faith from Easter.”
May was quoted in an ITV News video calling it “ridiculous.”
“Easter’s very important. It’s important to me, it’s a very important festival for the Christian faith for millions across the world,” she said.
Following the criticisms, the National Trust blamed Cadbury for the rebranding and added the word Easter to its website to describe the egg hunt.
It’s unclear how eggs became part of Christian Easter celebrations, according to the Post. Some say the egg serves as a symbol of new life dating from ancient times and others say the egg represents the Christian belief celebrated at Easter that Jesus was resurrected from his tomb.
England has become more secular in recent decades and also has seen an influx of Muslim immigrants. The Church of England has been influenced by secularism but still sometimes defends its traditions.