The Cape Times reported on Thursday that people had written e-mails and used social networking sites to voice disapproval of the use of a Muslim mark on a food that had special significance for Christians.
One Christian wrote on Woolworths Facebook wall: “Ja, its sad to hear the woolies we supported all these years turned their backs on Christians.
“Really disappointed. Lucky we received that email, man its spreading like a wild fire. Proud to say a few people I know are boycotting W, including me [sic].”
Another wrote: “I hate woolworths... How can you do that to the Christians, I hope that God will have mercy on you. And dnt be surprised if your shops run bankrupt.. I will pray to my living God and you will see what he is capable of! [sic]”
SA Catholic Bishops' Conference spokesperson Chris Townsend said people were overreacting and needed to be more understanding.
"Hot cross buns are only a symbol, and not a central tenet of Christianity. There are a lot more weighty issues to deal with in SA than a few 'hot cross Christians'," he was quoted as saying.
The food chain apologised for the upset and said it would release separate buns in future - non-Halaal certified hot cross buns and Halaal certified spiced buns.
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