London, UK - Sept 15, 2006 The religious thinktank Ekklesia has become the very first 'friend' of Jesus, on the Internet phenomenon Myspace.
Jesus appeared in cyberspace yesterday as part of an advertising campaign that features an image of his face on the side of a beer glass.
The adverts will direct readers to myspace.com/isthisjesus ‚Äì a page on the social networking site, a global internet club with 108 million members.
Those behind the campaign hope that it will encourage the young to go online to debate the appeal of Jesus.
But the advertising campaign has drawn fire from religious conservatives who have said that it trivialises and marginalises Jesus, as well as being irreverent.
To make matters worse, in a final insult, no one has yet linked themselves to Jesus on Myspace, although Myspace works by enabling people to become 'friends'..until now that it.
The religious thinktank Ekklesia, which has the second most visited religious website in the UK, has stepped up to the virtual plate and become Jesus' first official 'friend'.
Jonathan Bartley of the religious thinktank Ekklesia said; "Although this is a bit of fun at one level, there is a serious side.
"This is not so much advertising as 'subvertising', which is exactly the kind of communication that churches need to engage in.
"Previously the church has been focused on getting bums on pews rather than initiating debate about who Jesus was and his relevance today. This is an important new direction for churches in the UK, and we are sure that we will be the first of Jesus' many new friends."