Edinburgh University in Scotland will begin banning Holy Bibles from its student halls of residence due to concern they are the source of discrimination against students of other faiths.
The ban was a response to student association protests as well as an agenda to equally support all faiths, a university spokesman told the Times of London.
A Gideon Bible is traditionally placed in the room of all new students, and there are currently about 2,000 bibles in the Pollock Halls campus near Holyrood Park. Gideons International has handed out 63 million Bibles worldwide in places such as hotels, prisons and hospitals.
Since the school has students from 120 countries and all different faith backgrounds, officials believe that the distribution of Bibles could be offensive to some students.
Ruth Cameron, an advocate of the removal of Bibles from the campus, and the student association president said, “The student association strongly believes in the importance of ensuring that students of all faiths feel at home in their university accommodation,” she said.
She also stated that the removal of Bibles is not about attacking Christianity but about “respecting diversity.”
The proposal to remove Bibles will be voted on by the student association and then given approval by the university.
This is not the first removal of faith from Edinburgh University. Last year the school removed prayer from graduation ceremonies.
On the other hand, Stirling University was forced to stop plans to remove 6,000 Bibles from the campus after a huge protest from Christian students. The university came to the compromise of inviting all faiths to place their holy books on campus.
An Edinburgh University spokesman says the university will make a final decision later but will take the wishes of the student body into account: “The student body is made up of diverse faith backgrounds which are evenly supported by the University Chaplaincy which pursues a policy of supporting all faiths and none.”
Rev. John Lowry of Niddrie Parish Church in Edinburgh, said, “It is very disappointing from our point of view. But I can understand why people have chosen to do this.”