Church of England turns Jesus into drug addict; Crown of syringes used to invite worshippers to Easter services
A former drug addict takes the place of Jesus – wearing a crown of thorns made from syringes – as part of a shock tactic advertisement the Church of England hopes will attract new worshippers this Easter.
Rob Jones, 46, from Halifax, West Yorks, who spent years living rough punctuated by time in prison before turning his life around, plays the central role in a short film modelled on a traditional passion play.
He appears alongside a former white witch who converted to Christianity and others in the video made as part of the Church’s “Just Pray” campaign.
It follows a previous advert, featuring the Lord’s Prayer, which was banned from cinemas last year for being too “religious”.
The latest film is based on the text of Psalm 22, which speaks of despair and includes the line “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” which is said to have been spoken by Jesus on the cross.
All of the main parts are played by people who have recently found faith through an informal church in Halifax called “The Saturday Gathering”.
In the central scene Mr Jones is grabbed by a crowd and has the mock crown, made from plastic tubes and syringes used by drug addicts to inject themselves, thrust on his head.
It then cuts to a scene in a church, in full colour, accompanied by a message about resurrection.
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