Christmas just got a little more politically correct.
A Church of England canon in the UK has made headlines after requesting children attend her Christmas service dressed as wise people rather than wise men.
Canon Freda Evans put up a poster at St Barnabas Church in Erdington, Birmingham, this week inviting local families to attend the church’s numerous services over the holiday period.
For its Christmas Eve service, the church encouraged parents help their children dress up for the occasion in nativity-themed outfits albeit with one very PC change.
“Children are invited to come along to the service dressed as angels, shepherds, sheep or wise people!” the poster read.
As news of the change started to spread online, angry locals vented their frustrations and claimed Canon Evans was trying to modernise the traditional story of the three wise men, which has been told for centuries.
One man shared a photo of the church on Facebook, writing “the world’s gone mad”. The photo received plenty of comments with many annoyed that Christmas was being changed to suit modern political correctness.
“That’s daft it’s always been three wise men this is PC gone mad,” one woman wrote.
While another added, “A step too far as in many instances nowadays.” A third person wrote: “Why bother if you have to leave out the wise men. You can’t make this stuff up !!!! Stupidity beyond belief.”
However, Canon Evans has defended the move and told The Mirror that referring to the wise men as men is in fact a fairly modern development and that the original text would have left their gender open to interpretation.
“They are small children and they determine who they want to be — whether they are boys or girls they make the choice,” she said in a statement.
“In fact the early biblical word would have been ‘Magi’ which means followers of Zoroaster, so it is later translations which used the wording.”
The three wise men are just the latest in a string of Christmas traditions and characters to fall victim to PC changes.
Some schools have banned children from saying Merry Christmas, preferring to use Happy Holidays instead, while others have told students not to hand out cards with Jesus on them. In the US, a number of schools have banned Christmas carols.
There has been a noticeable push towards more politically correct language and behaviour around the world in recent years as the younger generations especially move towards creating a more inclusive society.
However, the movement has lead many to ask where we draw the line and how many traditions will go down the drain in order to make sure no one is offended.