Swedish Christians attack gay Jesus exhibition
A fight involving as many as 30 people broke out at a photographic exhibition in the Swedish city of Jonkoping.
The controversy surrounds the Ecco Homo exhibit, which portrays Jesus Christ as a gay man.
Ecco Homo has long been a source of disagreement among Swedish Christians. (WARNING: contains full frontal nudity.)
The series of 12 images was exhibited at the nation’s leading cathedral in Uppsala with the permission of the archbishop and toured the country.
The Local, a Swedish paper, reports that on Sunday a group of young people tried to set fire to a poster at the Jonkoping cultural centre where Ecco Homo was on display.
The paper said the city is a centre for evangelical Christians.
Staff intervened and a fight broke out, according to the centre’s director, Tony el Zouki.
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“If this is some Christian group, then I really do not understand them. The message of Christianity is that people should understand and love each other,” he told The Local.
“I really can’t see how this can have a Biblical explanation.”
Many find the work by Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin an affirmation of Christian love, while others regarded it as blasphemous.
LGBT Christians were equally divided, with some feeling that an image of Christ’s baptism in which his penis is prominently displayed merely enforced stereotypes of gay men.
The 12 photographs show Jesus among trans people, people with AIDS and men in leather. The exhibit toured Europe from 1998 – 2000.
Pope John Paul II cancelled an audience with the Protestant Archbishop Hammar of Uppsala for supporting the exhibit and allowing it to be shown in churches across Sweden.