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Row as RATP bans charity gig poster

Chart-topping priests' concert breaks rules on secularism in advertising, says Paris public transport operator

A ROW has broken out after Paris's public transport operator censored an ad for a charitable concert by a band of chart-topping priests.

The RATP banned the ad for Les Prêtres, who have sold millions of albums since forming five years ago, and who were promoting a concert at the Olympia music venue in the capital, raising money for an Eastern Christian humanitarian charity.

The transport firm said it was applying "strict rules relating to secularism" and said the mention could be seen as backing a political cause.

Monseigneur di Falco, one of the founding members of Les Prêtres, said it was hard to understand the RATP's reasoning and likened the decision to "secular fundamentalism".

Hautes-Alpes MP Joël Giraud has written to prime minister Manuel Valls, foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius and transport minister Ségolène Royal to complain about the ad ban, describing it is "incomprehensible and unacceptable".

Mr Fabius himself has been campaigning for a charter to be drawn up offering better protection to religious minorities facing persecution by Islamic State.

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