New chocolate Jesus appears down under

By staff writers
April 4, 2007

Christians in New Zealand have hung a picture of a chocolate Jesus on the country's busiest street.

It follows the creation of a controversial naked statue of a chocolate Jesus by an artist in New York.

The new picture, which features Jesus hanging on a cross with wrapper dangling, has appeared on a billboard outside St Matthews-in-the-City, Auckland.

It features the caption “Dying for some chocolate?”

“Easter has been reduced to chocolate,” says vicar Glynn Cardy. “Jesus gruesome murder by a political regime is now primarily an occasion for chocolate, bunnies, eggs and buns.”

Mr Cardy believes that Jesus is crucified again every time the innocent suffer, detainees are brutalized, and protestors beaten.

“We have trivialized his death, and see no connection between it and political suffering today,” he says.

Passers-by seem largely bemused. Tourists stop to take photographs of the billboard, posing beside it.

Church authorities have as yet said nothing.

The rough-sleepers enjoy its novelty value. One wryly commented, “Sweet eh?”

Some Christians in the US were angered by the decision of a New York gallery to exhibit a milk chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ.

It was a Roman custom to strip naked those being crucified, and the Bible records the Roman soldiers dividing up Jesus' clothing between them.

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