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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Madonna's giant cross 'offensive'
Madonna in concert, 21 May 2006

The Church of England has criticised Madonna's appearance on a cross to kick off her latest tour in Los Angeles.

"Why would someone with so much talent seem to feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?" said the Church in a statement.

Madonna performed the ballad Live To Tell while suspended from a giant mirrored cross on the opening night.

David Muir of the Evangelical Alliance also accused the singer of "blatant insensitivity".

"Madonna's use of Christian imagery is an abuse and it is dangerous," he said.

"She should drop it from the tour and people need to find their own means of expressing their disapproval."

Madonna's spokesperson was not available for comment at the time of publication.

This is not the first time the pop star's concerts have upset the Church.

In 1990, the Pope called for a boycott of the Blond Ambition tour, in which Madonna simulated masturbation during Like A Virgin.

The video for Like A Prayer also brought condemnation from groups claiming it was blasphemous.

The 51-date Confessions world tour kicked off in Los Angeles on Sunday. It will reach Britain in July.

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