Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, January 5, 1999 Published at 22:17 GMT


UK

Jesus: No wimp in a nightie

The similarities are clear...

A poster depicting Jesus Christ as a Che Guevara-style revolutionary has been launched by Christians to entice more people into church.


Rev Peter Owen-Jones: "Christ caused a revolution which changed the world"
The Church's Advertising Network says it modelled its poster on the ubiquitous image of the beret-wearing revolutionary to dispell the notion that Jesus is "a wimp in a nightie".

The black and red poster, bearing the slogan "Meek. Mild. As if. Discover the Real Jesus. Church. April 4." will be used to encourage more people to worship this Easter.

The campaign is the latest from CAN, which has caused controversy with previous adverts including Christmas copyrighted and the Three Wise Men having a bad hair day.


[ image: Christ was a revolutionary too, says the Church's Advertising Network]
Christ was a revolutionary too, says the Church's Advertising Network
At Tuesday's launch at the Methodist Central Hall in London, Reverend Tom Ambrose, of CAN, said the poster was designed to make people think about Christianity and ask questions about Jesus.

"We want people to realise that Jesus is not a meek, mild wimp in a white nightie, but a real, passionate and caring person.

"Jesus was a revolutionary figure and more revolutionary than anyone in the 20th century.

"He was not ineffectual and was crucified exactly because he was revolutionary.

"The sentimental imagery of Jesus seems to give the idea that churchgoing is passive. But in reality there is a quiet revolution going on in churches, as last year's march against world debt showed."

Churches across the UK will receive 50,000 leaflets and they will then be able to display large posters on their notice boards.

'Image of revolution'

CAN also hopes the posters will go up at bus shelters, train stations and hoardings.

The Rev Peter Owen-Jones, of CAN and who used to work in advertising, conceded the image on the poster might shock some traditional churchgoers.

"We are not saying that Jesus was a Communist, but that he was a revolutionary. We are exploiting the image of revolution, not the image of Che Guevara," he said.

Tom Horwood, spokesman for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said some people might have reservations about the poster campaign.

"For some people any publicity is good and this will probably provoke some kind of debate, which is healthy.

"But others will feel that the poster's association with Che Guevara is not something particularly relevant to Christianity.

"Churches have traditionally advertised themselves locally, but this is something more aggressive."

Jesus not a He-man

Peter Youngman, from the United Christian Broadcasters, insisted Jesus was not a Che Guevara.

"He wasn't just meek and mild, but neither was he a He-man," he said.

"He was a revolutionary, but in the way that he asked difficult questions and was totally unexpected in his reactions.

"To love your enemies and turn the other cheek is far more radical than to go round killing people."

Guevara was an Argentinian Marxist who helped Fidel Castro overthrow the Cuban dictatorship in 1959 and set up a communist state. He was killed leading a rebel group in Bolivia in 1967.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England
Internet Links


Che Guevara

Church of England

Catholic Church in England and Wales


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online