BBC Guidelines Suggest to Replace BC and AD with "Religiously Neutral" Terms

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: October 5, 2011

BBC’s new guidelines of religious impartiality contain the suggestion to use religiously “neutral” terms instead of “BC” and “AD” during discussions of history on air.

Modern phrases “the common era” and “before the common era” should be considered as potential replacements for Anno Domini and Before Christ to avoid offending non-Christians. Lenin and Mussolini had tried to do something similar.  The semi-official newspaper of the Holy See, L’Osservatore Romano, described the guidance from the BBC’s ethics advisers as “enormous nonsense” and accused the broadcaster of “senseless hypocrisy”. The row erupted last month after the guidance emerged on the religion pages of the BBC website, which stated: "As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians. Sources: