A church in the United Kingdom will not sing the hymn, "Onward, Christian Soldiers," during the service on Remembrance Sunday, which commemorates the contribution of British war dead, so as not to "offend" non-Christians.
St Peter's Church in Oadby, Leicester, will end its Remembrance Day parade with, "All People That On Earth Do Dwell," because the hymn sounds more multi-cultural, and some members of Oadby Royal British Legion social club have threatened to boycott the service, BBC reports.
The decision to drop the hymn from the service was taken "because members of the community from a wide range of cultural backgrounds attend this event, which is a parade, a service in church and laying of wreaths at the war memorial," the church said in a statement.
"It is because the Legion's Committee recognised that people from different faiths served in the Armed Forces that we will be singing All People That On Earth Do Dwell instead of Onwards Christian Soldiers," says Rev Steve Bailey. "We will also sing Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer and Oh God Our Help In Ages Past. This year for the first time Oadby Multicultural Group will be laying a wreath at the War Memorial as well as the one I will lay on behalf of the parish and we do want people of all faiths, who are paying respect to those from their own faiths and cultures who served and gave their lives, to feel welcome in the service."
As a protest, some members are planning to stay outside the church during the service and sing the hymn.
A worker at the church told The Telegraph that he thinks the hymn is "completely inappropriate."
"It is about spiritual warfare and not earthly warfare and we wanted something that would reflect Oadby's multicultural population and people of other faiths," the worker was quoted as saying. "We are quite upset by this because everybody else seems quite happy with it and we have always had a good relationship with the Royal British Legion."
Rev. Bailey added, "I understand that the British Legion branch is now discussing their social club members' complaints with the individuals who raised them. I am happy to discuss the matter with them as well as to provide reassurance that the Remembrance Service in the church remains a Christian service and one in which everyone can feel welcome."
Some schools in the U.K. are also removing historical dating terms like B.C., which stands for Before Christ, and A.D., so that they do not risk offending non-Christian students. However, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said that the removal of the traditional terms is a "great shame."