Google — which controls the largest portion of online ads placement in the world — informed a Christian publishing house it was banning the company’s marketing ads because they refer to Jesus or the Bible.
“This morning, we learned that Google ads will no longer accept anything related to the cph.org domain. They stated that the reason is because of the faith we express on our website,” Concordia Publishing House CEO Bruce Kintz wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post, CBN News reported.
“(A CPH staff member) was told, as an example, that things like our bible challenge on our (Vacation Bible School) webpage would clearly need to come down before they could consider us for ads,” Kintz said.
He noted that the news was “incredibly sobering and disappointing.”
CPH elaborated in a news release on Monday that the specific ban had to do with remarketing ads, which are those directed at people who have independently visited Concordia’s website.
“Google informed CPH that the type of ad in question would not be allowed based on Google’s policy of religious belief in personalized content,” the release read.
“As a Google AdWords Support representative explained, the disapproval resulted from the fact that the items in the ad and on the CPH website refer to Jesus and/or the Bible.”
“(T)he Google representative indicated that content provided by CPH was beyond the scope of becoming compliant with Google,” the statement added.
The remedies Google offered to Concordia were to “remove all items that refer to Jesus or the Bible” on their site or select a different Google ad product.
“Clearly, CPH does not agree with Google’s decision in this matter,” Kintz said. “If we are willing to remove references to our faith in our ads or website, then we will be allowed to use remarketing ads with Google.”
“Simply stated, we are not willing to sacrifice our beliefs to comply with Google’s requirements,” he added. “It’s no secret that society is becoming increasingly hostile to the Christian faith.”
“This increasing hostility makes our mission of proclaiming that faith through the books, Bibles, and curriculum that we produce all the more important. We will continue to proclaim the faith because we know without a doubt that the Word of the Lord endures forever,” Kintz said.
CPH is the publishing arm of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, and is located in St. Louis.
"As you read, you’ll be transported into the world of these ordinary people living in the time of the Reformation, who are learning about God’s free gift of grace." https://t.co/fbzer0lnTb pic.twitter.com/kZYsXtTRhS
— Concordia Publishing (@ConcordiaPub) April 21, 2018
Kintz promised CPH would not be deterred by Google’s action, but will rather continue to seek to “connect people to Christ” through its books, Bibles and software tools.
The Christian Post noted the rejection of Concordia’s ads by Google comes as many are accusing it and social media giants, like Facebook and Twitter, of having a bias against and suppressing conservative or Christian viewpoints on their platforms.
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