Russian Orthodox Christians switch “anti-Christian” bitten Apple logos to crosses

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The Russian news portal Interfax reports that some Orthodox Christian believers in Russia—including Orthodox priests—are removing the bitten apple logo from their Apple devices for religious reasons, and replacing it with a cross.

According to their interpretation, the bitten apple is described as a symbol of original sin in the Bible, and is anti-Christian, while the cross symbolizes the victory of Christianity over the death of the Saviour, the redemption of their original sin of Adam and Eve.


xBitLabs’ Anton Shilov suggests that the Russian Orthodox activists’ condemnation of the half-bitten Apple logotype symbolizing the original sin of Adam and Eve, generally anti-Christian, and insulting to their belief, may potentially cause serious problems for sales of Apple’s products in that country even though the logo has been used from 1976 to 2012 with no influential Christian organization accusing Apple of anti-Christian propaganda with the bitten apple silhouette.

Actually, the “forbidden fruit” in the Genesis account was not necessarily an apple, and a variety of other fruits are more likely candidates (see this Wikipedia entry).

Another Wikipedia article notes that while in Western Christian art the forbidden fruit is commonly depicted as the apple (which originated in central Asia), this depiction may have originated as a Latin pun: by eating the “malum” (apple), Eve contracted “mlum” (evil). It could also be attributed to religious artists’ poetic licence, and St. Augustine underlined that the fruits of Eden’s tree were not evil by themselves, because everything God created was good (Gen 1:12). Rather, it was disobedience of Adam and Eve, who had been told by God not to eat of the tree (Gen 2:17), that was obnoxious and caused disorder in the creation whereby humanity inherited sin and guilt from Adam and Eve’s original sin.

The Foods In The Bible reference to apples notes that the apple has overwhelmingly positive associations in the Bible, such as “Apple of the eye” as a figurative expression for something very valuable in scriptural view. It portrayed, for example, God’s care—(Deut 32:10) “He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled He instructed him, He kept him as the Apple of his eye”—and many similar references obtain.

Interfax points out that the logo on the first Apple computer was inspired by the tale of physicist Sir Isaac Newton sitting under a tree from which an apple fell on his head, inspiring his theorizing about gravity. It was originally suggested by Ron Wayne, who was Steve Jobs’ and Steve Wozniak’s business partner in the very early days of Apple Computer, according Rob Janoff, the designer of the original multi-colored Apple logo, in a CreativeBits interview.

The “rainbow” Apple logo was used from 1976 until 1998, when it was replaced by a white monochrome version that was used from 1998 to 2003, when it was in turn replaced by a glass-themed variant.

Asked if there was any intended reference to the Biblical event when Eve bit into the forbidden fruit, Janoff says that had nothing to do with it. You can read his account of what it did have to do with at

The Apple logo story is also related by Softpedia contributor Filip Truta.

On the other hand, CreativeBits’ Ivan cites in the preamble of his Rob Janoff interview a comment by former Apple software executive (1981 to 1990) Jean Louis Gassée that “One of the deep mysteries to me is our logo, the symbol of lust and knowledge, bitten into, all crossed with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn’t dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope, and anarchy.” That spin on it would certainly play into the Russian Orthodox protesters’ worst suspicions.

XBitLabs’ Shilov notes that it is unknown whether the radical Orthodox consider the logotype as insulting, but it looks like they do. With Russia’s parliament currently considering laws designed “… to defend citizens’ religious feelings and national and spiritual values from blasphemy and insult,” which is considered highly-likely to pass as the initiative presumably has Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s blessing, a worst-case scenario could see sales of Apple products halted in Russia.

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  • ViewRoyal

    If they replace the Apple logo with a cross on the back of the iPhone, then the iPhone’s “Jesus Phone” nickname would be literal. 😉