03/23/2018 22:14 EDT | Updated 03/23/2018 22:14 EDT

Sweet Jesus Asked To Change 'Blasphemous' Name By Christian Petitioners

The ice cream chain is expanding to the U.S., but not all Americans are excited.

Sweet Jesus/Facebook
Toronto ice cream chain Sweet Jesus is being decried as

A petition asking a Canadian ice cream chain to change its "blasphemous" name has nearly 30,000 signatures.

The Toronto chain Sweet Jesus, which first opened in 2015, announced plans to expand into the U.S. in October. But some Christians aren't thrilled with the company's presence down South.

"The company's name and logo are seriously offensive," the petition on Christian site Return To Order says. "The first S in the word Jesus is a lightning strike, reminiscent of the Nazi style used by the SS, and the T in "SWEET" is often shown as an inverted Cross on the company's various products ... We cannot remain silent while Our Lord is blasphemed!"

Another petition, by Canadian site CitizenGo, has almost 8,000 signatures. It calls the company's branding "totally offensive and revolting."

If anything could qualify as 'hate speech', this is it!CitizenGo petition

It goes on: "Even if this were some innocent faux-pas, it would still be unacceptable! However, this is anything but a mere mistake. Both in their promotional materials and menu selection, it is plain to see that [owners] Richmond and Todai have every intention of mocking Christ and Christianity. If anything could qualify as 'hate speech', this is it!"

Others took issue with one of Sweet Jesus' advertisements, because the child posing with ice cream running down her face looks similar to Jonbenét Ramsey, a child beauty pageant contestant who was murdered at age 6.

Another video posted by Christian YouTube account On Point Preparedness, that calls the company the "anti-Christ," has more than 50,000 views and 2,500 likes.

The company's co-founder told BlogTO that he's aware of the anger.

"While we understand some may find our name offensive, we see it as an expression of joy," he said in a statement. "At the end of the day, we don't take ourselves too seriously - we're all about creating unique desserts that taste really good."

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