An Orthodox Christian woman from Russia reportedly sues fastfood chain giant McDonald's for its irresistible cheeseburger advertisement that allegedly tempted her break to her Lenten fast.
Faithwire said Ksenia Ovchinnikova filed a lawsuit against McDonald's for luring her to break her Lenten fast through their billboard showing the "irresistible" cheeseburger.
The Daily Mail, on the other hand, added that the incident took place in 2019's Lenten Season during which Orthodox Christians are strictly expected to stay away from meat and its by products. While Mashed explained that the Russian Orthodox Church takes Lent seriously such that 3 million members would not only avoid beef, chicken, and pork meat but also seafood for 48 days to train their "will power" for God.
"We are not merely giving up meat, dairy and fish products during Lent, but rather, by training our will power on small things we show devotion to God and readiness for ordeals that may befall us in the future," Mashed quoted Archpriest Maxim Kozlov of the Russian Orthodox Church in saying.
Ovchinnikova, based in Omsk, is said to have been perfectly observing abstinence from meat for 16 straight years and was doing the same that year. She has, in fact, had not eaten meat and other animal products for the whole month of April until she saw the billboard for McDonald's cheeseburgers and nuggets.
"By this point, I had already been fasting for a month, but when I saw an advertising banner, I could not help myself, I visited McDonald's and bought a cheeseburger," Ovchinnikova said in a statement.
According Ovchinnikova, McDonald's made her break her fasting by tempting her to do so. This, she said, is a violation of the law on consumer protection and an insult to her religious feelings. She pointed out the fastfood chain advertised at a time it knew Christians were having their fasting from meat products, which is reason for her to sue and file for damages of 1,000 rubles ($14).
"In the actions of McDonald's, I see a violation of the consumer protection law. I ask the court to investigate and, if a violation has taken place, to oblige McDonald's LLC to compensate me for moral damage in the amount of one thousand rubles," Ovchinnikova said.
The Moscow Times revealed that the preliminary hearing caused by the "unhappy meal" has not been set yet by the Zamoskvoretsky court, which is in Moscow. Ovchinnikova, meanwhile, was advised by the Russian Orthodox Church to "go to confession instead of the court."
McDonald's has faced many lawsuits in the course of its 70 years of operation. Recently, the fastfood chain was sued by its Black franchisees for racial discrimination, which the U.S. federal court dismissed in June.
The most infamous case filed against McDonald's was in 1992 by Stella Liebeck known as the "hot coffee lawsuit." The 79-year-old Liebeck was opening the lid of her McDonald's coffee when it spilled on her. Liebeck suffered skin grafts from third-degree burns because of that hot coffee spill. She sued McDonald's when the fastfood chain did not reimburse her medical bills totaling $10,000.