Woolies facing wrath over hot cross buns

2012-03-29 09:26

Cape Town - Woolworths is facing criticism from a few Christians for putting a Halaal certification mark on its hot cross buns, but a bishop has labelled it "nothing more than a storm in a baking pan".

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.

- Where do you stand on this topic? Share your thoughts with us. .

  • Tony - 2012-03-29 16:08

    Did you know that Woolworths has hoards of complaints ? Visit and see for yourself how bad they can be !! By the way Woolworths put thew Christian Cross back on the Buns.

  • Michelle - 2012-03-29 16:09

    Oh for heaven's sake Get a bloody life. Storm in a bloody teacup If people felt that strongly about it, just don't buy the buns

  • AnthonyZA - 2012-03-29 16:09

    My ancestor started the tradition read below: Although they have been a Lenten and Good Friday tradition for centuries, Hot Cross Buns were not always associated with Christianity. Their origins lie in pagan traditions of ancient cultures, with the cross representing the four quarters of the moon. During early missionary efforts, the Christian church adopted the buns and re-interpreted the icing cross. In 1361, a monk named Father Thomas Rockliffe began a tradition of giving Hot Cross Buns to the poor of St Albans on Good Friday. In years that followed, many customs, traditions, superstitions, and claims of healing and protection from evil and were associated with the buns. In the 16th century, Roman Catholicism was banned in England, but the popularity of Hot Cross buns continued. Queen Elizabeth I passed a law banning the consumption of Hot Cross Buns except during festivals such as Easter, Christmas and funerals.

  • mnbain - 2012-03-29 16:11

    Words escape me!!!

  • nay3112 - 2012-03-29 16:11

    as a christian women married to a moslem man, i have the priveledge of seeing this issue from both sides. firstly, to those 'christians' who are upset - hot cross buns have nothing to do with christianity. i dont see anywhere in the Bible where God deemed hot cross buns to be for His followers only! so grow up and find something else to do with your time!!! from the moslem side, all it means is that the ingredients used are suitable for consumption by moslems. since when did making food suitable for all races and nations become an issue?????

      Eugene - 2012-03-29 16:51

      i have no problem with anyone eating Hot Cross Buns, muslim, jew, hindu, etc. But since muslims have been eating hot cross buns for decades now why all of sudden should it be halaal certified? if they dont like the way it is, then they should bake their own as many muslim bakeries already do. the reality is we are moving into an age whereby everything has to confirm with islam. i open my fridge and all i see is moons and stars even the milk and butter for goodness sake. we all know there is no pork or alcohol in a hot cross buns let alone milk or butter. this issue is simply about principle and had it been then other way you know as well as i do that many muslims would have had much to say. would a jew allow a cross to be plastered all over a packet of matzos which he eats during passover. no, it would be direspectful. i think woolworths direspected the Christian people and they thought that Christians would take it lying down. i think they got quite a shock over the public response. and off the subject but relevant to my point, as a christain woman married to a moslem man, your children are probably being raised muslim. i wonder why? and that proves my point.

  • Bronwyn - 2012-03-29 16:12

    I wonder if the people who have complained about this are aware that Woollies sell Hot Cross Buns ALL YEAR ROUND and not just at Easter time????

  • Nichole - 2012-03-29 16:15

    @wayne.jubber- could not have explained that better!! exactly how we are feeling..

  • Adi - 2012-03-29 16:19

    Amen.ppl let's bare in mind dat Christianity is practised in different ways depend on yo culture or tradition.that's why we are still having traditional missionary churches and the modern crusades.So let's respect those who were offended by the Holy Buns issue...its part of their Christian for me I don't feel offended as an Christian.woolies should do da same in Muslim holidays by putting Jesus in their sacred foods then we will c then respond.a symbol is a symbol it need to b respected.

  • seaterp - 2012-03-29 16:25

    For goodness sake! What is happening to everyone? I think Religion causes more trouble than it is worth! Correction: individuals perception & interpretation of Religion. Eat hot cross buns if you like them - kosher sticker or not. I love my Woollies extra spiced hot cross buns & will eat plenty of them!

  • Susan - 2012-03-29 16:30

    As a Christian I can truly say that this is rediculous! What did Jesus Chirst have to do with hot cross buns??? Come on people, be realistic and dont make a fool of Christ because you are feeling petty!! Yes, stand up the misuse of our Lord's name and other social ethics, but don't blow this issue out of proportion with accusations! Rather get busy in the Word of God about things that are really important, like "Loving your neighbour" instead of CONDEMNING people for putting halaal signs on bread packaging! Jesus loves the world, He did not condemn them, after all, He came to set the captives FREE (Isaiah 42:6-7 "I will keep you and will make you to be a... light for the Gentiles,7 to open eyes that are blind,to free... those who sit in darkness."

  • Greg - 2012-03-29 16:43

    I honestly can't believe the Christians complaining about this are actually being serious, 'that God will have mercy on you', Oh for Pete's sake, find something else to waste your time on please!! Next they'll be saying God must have mercy on the Constitution because it recognizes freedom of religion!!

  • Janine - 2012-03-29 16:43

    For goodness sake, Get a life - there are more important things to worry about..just enjoy the hot cross buns and the easter break

  • Johanna - 2012-03-29 16:44

    I. personally refuse to eat "hot cross" buns before Good Friday. but that is a personal feeling. I love current buns and think that shops could make them without the cross other times than Easter

  • Clive - 2012-03-29 16:45

    As a Christian (of sorts) I am embarrassed by this pettiness.

  • Michael - 2012-03-29 16:46

    So pathetic. These lame christians are forcing people to turn their backs on them. They are honestly pathetic and more judgmental than any other. Grow up you oxygen thieves. Stop making the masses hate you, as you are an already dying breed.

  • Lindsay - 2012-03-29 16:46

    Oh please!!!!! People can be so petty!!!!

  • helen.riding - 2012-03-29 16:48

    Christians do not have copyright on the cross symbol or hot cross buns for that matter. The cross is a universal and ancient symbol, representing among many other things balance, the sun and the four classical elements. Easter originated as a pagan celebration of spring in the northern hemisphere, hence the sun symbol on hot cross buns.

  • mhughes811 - 2012-03-29 16:57

    They should make the hot-cross buns more expensive then the spiced-buns to spite these fools

  • petertbexley - 2012-03-29 17:00

    hahahahaha ....and we are supposed to be the intelligent species !

  • gianni.smith - 2012-03-29 17:12

    Hot cross buns has nothing to do with Christianity, neither does bunnies and eggs.

  • Carl - 2012-03-29 17:16


  • boltonbarry - 2012-03-29 17:29

    Really?? to my fellow Christians who complain about this. get over yourself and use your brain power on something worthwhile. Utter nonsense

  • James - 2012-03-29 17:37


  • theuns.kruger - 2012-03-29 17:40

    I'm sure Woolies will still bake the same buns using the same ingredients in the same pans and ovens,and just change the info on the labels. That's what I would do. I'll even make sure that there are some 'Kosher' hot cross buns too, and even some Mormon buns, and Buddhist buns. Hell, while we're at it, how about buns with a pentacle (that's a pentagram for the uninitiated), then we have most religions covered. Utter stupidity. Who says that religion doesn't cause division? Whew! This rant has tired me out and given me a huge thirst. How about a Red Bull. It may not make you walk on water but it will give you wiiiiings!

  • shubnam.patel - 2012-03-29 17:42

    I think this is more an issue of racism, only a racist person would say such a thing, it is an exuse from them . S0000 obvious

  • somikazi.pita - 2012-03-29 17:50

    Some people take this religion thing too seriously!

      Stanley - 2012-03-29 21:52

      I take it you don't take religion seriously?...You should look in the mirror and say it to might think twice about what you just said!...Shame on you!

  • Johan - 2012-03-29 18:02

    In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion. They are believed by some to pre-date Christianity, although the first recorded use of the term "hot cross bun" was not until 1733; it is believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre (the cross is thought to have symbolised the four quarters of the moon); "Eostre" is probably the origin of the name "Easter". Others claim that the Greeks marked cakes with a cross, much earlier. According to cookery writer Elizabeth David, Protestant English monarchs saw the buns as a dangerous hold-over of Catholic belief in England, being baked from the dough used in making the communion wafer. Protestant England attempted to ban the sale of the buns by bakers but they were too popular, and instead Elizabeth I passed a law permitting bakeries to sell them, but only at Easter and Christmas. From wikipedia

  • andrew.arnesen - 2012-03-29 18:14

    Dumb-ass fundamentalists of any persuasion just burn my ass!

  • Joe - 2012-03-29 18:14

    JOE [ SouthAfrican Che in Cyprus]. What crazy people... and they call themselves Christians... Hot Cross buns are not only eaten by Christians. The only difference between a Currant Bun and a Hot Cross bun is the "cross"... Woolies should be proud that other religions enjoy their Buns Cross buns

  • Graeme - 2012-03-29 18:20

    The outcry of self-righteous Christian is quite frankly off the wall! The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:27 that "God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them ..." Muslims, Hindus, Buddists, Christians and people of other faiths are ALL made in God's image. My daughter in Richards Bay (she is a Christian!) has Hindu & Muslim friends. They fraternise, and their children go to each others birthday parties and play together. The sky does not cave in! In fact, God smiles! We Christians are so blinkered! As Jesus healed the blind man and restored his sight, so we need to allow Jeus to remove the scales from our eyes too. Then maybe we shall see more clearly and perceive the bigger picture. Woolworths, pay absolutely no attention to this bigotry!

      Stanley - 2012-03-29 21:41

      Of everyone commenting on this matter,you are the BIGGEST hypocrite...I do not thinyou know what you are busy saying!...let me spell it out for claim to believe in Jesus Christ,but you also believe that there are other gods. Didn't God say that He is the ONLY God..NO other god exsist except Him. So who are you actually believing in? cannot believe in more than one god...go read your Bible properly before you come here and quote Bible verses and still say that we must respect and honour other gods. What kind of a Christian are you?

  • Cheryl - 2012-03-29 18:24

    Not very Christian like is it to get upset over hot cross buns.

  • Gerry - 2012-03-29 18:31

    People! Be glad you didnt live in Namibia (old South West Africa) in the 80's... There was a shop in a small town between Windhoek and Swakop that used to sell hot cross buns around Hitler's birthday - decorated with a SWASTIKA. Imagine the comments had we had the technology then. This stupid thing regarding an Halaal sticker is going a bit too far. Stand up for other issues affecting human dignity and rights!

  • Francois - 2012-03-29 18:35

    Why did Woolies do it in the first place? What was the reason for classifying a bun? It is not a meat product. It did not require classification. Now you can ask, was it just put on to peef off the Christians?

  • Eric - 2012-03-29 18:36

    Well Well bunch of cry babies... ok then I think its time we removed the CROSS off Plattekloof hill since we ALL have to look at this each year and this includes the poor OWLS that are confused about day & night. Now there is a reason to cry about

  • noquecx.nokabee - 2012-03-29 18:41

    Oh. Jesus... Christians are at it again... The red bull ad now this... What a bunch of cry babies

  • terencevs - 2012-03-29 18:51

    I know its just Hot Cross Buns, but its also Mc Donalds, 90% of steers, spur starting now to, 90% of resturants are halal, so where do you stop cut the line. You go to PnP Canal Walk the non halal fridge is tucked away in a little corner with no choice. Its getting to the point that you don't have a choice anymore. In a country that is so democratic it looks like one religion is starting to control the food in our democratic country. Thats just my point of view... BTW I have nothing against muslim people!

      berthram - 2012-03-29 21:09

      So what u are saying is that Christian are not allowed to eat the same food as muslims? Funny! In a country that is so democratic it only makes sense that they make one product to be available for more than one religion. 20 years ago there was almost no halaal products on shelves, no koshes products too. So really it was all about christians then, not? All I'm saying is that christian are allowed to eat products that are labelled halaal and kosher, so why make a fuss over it?

  • Muhammed - 2012-03-29 19:09

    Even from an Islamic perspective, it is wrong to label hot cross buns halaal.

  • Ettiene - 2012-03-29 19:13

    Really? Seriously? Pathetic. Anyways, Hot Cross Buns are a commercialized symbol which rakes in millions every year. Get off your high horse and worry about more important crap! Next thing you know we will need a permit to buy samoosas... And Christians say the Muslims are not tolerant of other religions... Now, pass me good curry and roti, I'm off to watch The Passion and enjoy a good bottle of red wine while and finishing it off with a kosher dessert. Yum!

  • sonny.brilliant - 2012-03-29 19:14

    Piety is not what the lessons bring to people, it's the mistake they bring to the lessons.

  • tracy.bax - 2012-03-29 19:15

    Oh for heavens sake - are there not more pressing issues in this country? I can't stand the political correctness and intolerance shown by society. Come on people. Millions of people in SA are short of food, halaal or not!

  • Daryl - 2012-03-29 19:16

    I can't believe people are so small minded where is your christian spirit they sell these buns all year why the huge outcry now

  • David - 2012-03-29 19:16

    Hopefully be seeing a cross on Hahlaal products during Rahmadam,duck the bombs.

  • stephan.steyn1 - 2012-03-29 19:18

    Seriously.... its just a hot cross bun... food!

  • aiazmir - 2012-03-29 19:20

    Ha Ha ha. A storm in the proverbial teacup (accompanied by hot cross buns). Great publicity for Woolies. I want to try one of the hot cross buns. Perhaps Woolies realised that if you pour hot water down a rabbit hole you end up with a bunch of hot cross bunnies, or you could be Frankly copying the trend.

  • Olivia - 2012-03-29 19:22

    I don't see what the BIG deal is. I do think people need to learn to choose their battles. It would be a different matter if they had removed the CROSS from the Hot Cross Bun, like Checkers did. When I enquired as to why there was only a line across the top of the bun, a staff member told me that those were the Hot CROSS buns without raisins!

  • TheHuruGuru - 2012-03-29 19:25

    Really? Hot cross buns - and Easter - aren't even Christian. They are pagan.

  • Ronel - 2012-03-29 19:35

    Still try to figure out what thy try to said" but a bishop has labelled it, nseparatedothing more than a storm in a baking pan"! THEN PLZ APPRECIATE THE WEEKEND OF CHRIST FOR ALL CHRISTIANS!!! And i sad no to a halaal hot cross ban, cause they don't now the meaning of WHY CHRIST DIE FOR OUR SIN AND 3 DAYS LATER STAND UP!! Why now interfear is it for money, or what? I said no for separated hot cross bans, people is just unbelievable, cause they don't believe that God sent his Son, Jesus to die for our sins.

      mbossenger - 2012-03-29 21:21

      What menas this?

  • Brendan - 2012-03-29 20:01

    Small minded people. that is all this is about.

  • mariska.lloyd - 2012-03-29 20:03

    Easter - Festival celebrating the Pagan goddess Eostre. Easter eggs and egg painting - symbolises new life, celebrated on the Spring equinox (Pagan), Spring Equinox - time of fertility, new start of life, new growth and newborn animals(Pagan). Hot Cross Buns - Pagan.... I do not see the fuss over a halaal sticker! Everything about easter, even the name, was stolen from Paganism. Do your research. Perhaps we should start putting 'pagan' stickers on some items Christians find so dear, like Christmans trees!

      Stanley - 2012-03-29 21:26

      You sound like a brain-washed fool. You want to act and sound smart with some crap you read on google. It's a shame that some people doesn't have the intellectual capacity to differentiate between fact and fiction. I would like you to think deeply about what you posted on this site. Do not believe everything you read or see on the networks.It will make you blind!

      mariska.lloyd - 2012-03-29 22:08

      @Stanley - I was just as blind as you once. Once you seek and find truth your eyes open to whole new world. I did not just find this on 'google'. I've done years of seeking and researching. Not that I need to justify my beliefs to you, but I was Christian. Your comment just again prove to me that I made the correct decision to follow a path of light and respect. Go and do some proper research. You'll be surprised, just as I was, at what you find. I am very clear on what is fact and what is fiction.

  • Snappy - 2012-03-29 20:42

    come on people let us be more tolerant and why cannot we see some koek sisters on the woolies shelves in future