An art book has attracted controversy for portraying Jesus Christ as a young gay man living in the modern world.
The book, Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision, by Kittredge Cherry and Douglas Blanchard – retells the story of Jesus as he is jeered at by fundamentalists and beaten by police, before eventually rising from the dead to flirt with God.
Kittredge Cherry, the author, said: “These dramatic paintings break the deadly illusion that Jesus belongs exclusively to a particular time or group.
“A queer Passion is crucial now even for non-believers because Christianity is being used to justify discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“The book speaks not only to the LGBT community, but to everyone who is passionate about building a more just world.”
Blanchard, who painted the images, added: “Christ is one of us in my pictures.
“In His sufferings, I want to show Him as someone who experiences and understands fully what it is like to be an unwelcome outsider.”
Although the art has had a hostile reaction from conservative groups, Reverend Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches, said: “I was deeply moved by this retelling of the Easter story.”