SYDNEY (AFP) — Australian church leaders have condemned a play shortly to open in Sydney depicting Jesus as a gay man who is seduced by Judas, a report said Sunday.
The play, named Corpus Christi, is due to open next month as part of the city's annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Sydney's Sun-Herald newspaper reported.
A senior Sydney churchman called the play "historical nonsense".
"It is deliberately, not innocently, offensive and they're obviously having a laugh about it," Robert Forsyth, Anglican bishop of South Sydney, was quoted saying.
Apart from the relations between Jesus and Judas, the play also features Jesus conducting a gay marriage between two apostles.
The play's director Leigh Rowney, who claims to be a Christian, accepted the play would offend some Christians but said he was keen to provoke debate about Christianity.
"I wanted this play in the hands of a Christian person like myself to give it dignity but still open it up to answering questions about Christianity as a faith system," Rowney was quoted saying.
Playwright Terrence McNally, who is gay, received death threats when the work was performed in the United States, the newspaper said.
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