SCHOOLCHILDREN were banned from singing a popular Christmas carol and told to hum the tune instead, over fears the performance could offend other religions.
Children in Flero, Italy, did not sing the lyrics of Holy Night.
Instead pupils hummed the carol during a concert dubbed the “Winter Recital” in Bresciano, northern Italy.
The decision was criticised by a local councillor.
Elena Franceschini, the culture commissioner for the town of Bresciano, said: “Even if the state and the school claim to be secular, we would like to have ‘Christmas Concerts’ and not ‘Winter Recitals’ where children can feel free to sing Holy Night without thinking that this offends or excludes pupils who belong to other cultures or other religions or who declare to be atheists.”
It is not the first time children in Italy have been censored over Christmas.
Last week Express.co.uk reported schoolchildren in an Italian town had been banned from mentioning Jesus in Christmas songs.
Defending the bizarre decision, headteacher Paola Bellini said: “Children will sing songs that evoke universal themes of peace and solidarity.”
It comes days after a school in Sweden removed references to Christianity from a popular Christmas carol to avoid offending others.
Children in Flero hummed the tune to Holy Night
The children performed in a concert dubbed the “Winter Recital”
A line about “a star over Bethlehem” was edited – and replaced with the phrase “the star over all of us”.
The move provoked criticism, with one of the pupil’s grandfathers writing an angry letter to a local newspaper.
Calling for an end to “special treatment for newly arrived students”, he wrote: “Who took the decision to change the Christmas song?
“The idea was that migrants would be integrated into Swedish society and not vice versa.
“We shouldn’t be afraid of our Swedish traditions. Soon we’ll have none left.”