Starbucks accused of 'hating Jesus' over new Christmas cup design

Starbucks have been accused of "hating Jesus" after their new festive holiday cups did not feature the words "Merry Christmas".

The cups, which are served in the coffee giant's stores around the globe, are just red this year.

But this angered a former pastor from the US whose Facebook rant on the subject has now been viewed more than 12 million times.

In the post titled "Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus", Joshua Feuerstein said he wanted to start a movement with the hashtag #merrychristmasstarbucks.

He also claimed Starbucks staff had been instructed not to say Merry Christmas to customers during the holidays.

In the video Feuerstein says: "Do you realise that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups? That is why they are just plain red.

"In fact, do you realise that Starbucks isn't allowed to say Merry Christmas to customers?

"Well, I decided instead of simply boycotting, why don't we start a movement?

"I went into a Starbucks and when they asked me my name, I told them my name is Merry Christmas. So guess what, Starbucks, I tricked you into putting Merry Christmas on your cup.

"And I'm challenging all Christians around the world to go into Starbucks and take your own coffee selfie."

Joshua told Starbucks staff his name as 'Merry Christmas' to get them to write it on the cup. Credit: Facebook/Joshua Feuerstein

Feuerstein goes on to hold up a gun in the one minute video revealing he took it into a Starbucks store.

This is in response to the company saying in 2013 that firearms were unwelcome in their cafes in America as the gun debate rages on.

"Just to offend you Starbucks, I made sure to wear my Jesus Christ T-shirt into your store.

"And, since you hate the second amendment (the law allowing Americans to carry guns), I even carried my gun. Yikes."

The former pastor holds up a gun on screen. Credit: Facebook/Joshua Feuerstein

Starbucks responded by saying: "Creating a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity is one of the core values of Starbucks.

"Each year during the holidays the company aims to bring customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season.

"Starbucks will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world."

Cup designer Jeffrey Fields added the cups were just red this year as they wanted to "usher in the holidays with a purity of design".

He said: "In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cup designs.

"Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays and we're embracing the simplicity and quietness of it."