A small fast-food restaurant from a city in the Russian Urals has found itself in the middle of a heated controversy after posting a provocative advertisement of its “divinely tasty” shawarma online.
The advertisement was posted online by a fast-food restaurant called ‘Shawarma Ne Za Gorami’ (Shawarma Just Around the Corner) in the city of Perm in April, but did not attract the attention of the Orthodox faithful until this week – apparently ruffling some feathers.
“There’s no sense in being a martyr to healthy food when there’s divinely tasty ‘Shawarma around the corner’, where you can give in to temptation without sinning against your figure,” the slogan under the picture read.
The ad was not taken lightly by local church officials, who took to social media to vent their anger over the “blasphemy.”
“Utter disgrace in Perm!!! Advertisement of ‘holy shawarma!’ We’re filing a complaint with law enforcement! One cannot let that go!” the secretary of a local Orthodox eparchy, Andrey Litovka, said on Facebook. According to Litovka, the church has been contacted by many “outraged people” urging it to take action against the restaurant and the controversial ad.
The restaurant has succumbed to the pressure and removed the image from all of its social media accounts. Local law enforcement, however, said it has not actually received any complaints about it so far.
The owner of the fast-food joint, Veronika Burdina, insists that she meant no offence to religious folks. Burdina says that phrases such as ‘divine shawarma’ or ‘holy scroll’ are common tropes used by kebab enthusiasts on the internet, adding that she herself is a faithful Orthodox Christian.
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