Staff said council policy prevented them from displaying the poster for Women’s World Day of Prayer.
But the decision to turn down a churchgoer’s request to put it up at Kayll Road Library, Sunderland, has been condemned by leaders of all faiths in the city.
Adbur Rouf, of Sunderland Mosque, said it was hard for him to understand how anyone could find the poster offensive.
He said different religions in city were now living together, side by side, and have respect for each other’s faiths.
Founder and chairman of Sunderland Sikh Association, Manjit Chema, said: ‘This is not the way. This sort of thing creates divides and ghettos of different communities.
‘I would not have found that poster offensive. Different religions need to learn from each other more and be open.
‘It divides people if they are not open. There is no harm in these religious activities.’
Reverend Peter Robson, whose parishioner at St Gabriel’s Church wanted to put the poster up, said: ‘I really find it hard to understand.
‘It’s just a notice – we’re not trying to force people to go along.’ Read in full at the Daily Mail.