The world has generally known only one form of Jesus Christ, and that is his depiction as a white man with blond hair. Historically, no ordinary person dared to question the authenticity of such a depiction, however, in today’s time, many are not happy with Christ being portrayed as a white man, although he was from the Middle East, and of Jewish descent. As such, it is highly unlikely that he was a white and European in reality, as is depicted in statues and pictures. With the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests raging in the West, calls for reconsidering Christ’s depiction are also on the rise, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the de facto head of the Angelic communion and the Church of England has stirred a massive social media conversation.
Reverend Justin Welby, while speaking to the BBC, and upon being asked if the present portrayal of Christ needs to be reimagined and “thought about again,” said, “Yes, of course it does,” adding that Jesus was portrayed differently in countries around the world. “You go into their churches and you don’t see a White Jesus — you see a Black Jesus, or Chinese Jesus, or a Middle Eastern Jesus — which is of course the most accurate…You see a Fijian Jesus — you see Jesus portrayed in as many ways as there are cultures, languages and understandings,” the Archbishop added.
BLM activist Shaun King, meanwhile, called for all statues of Jesus Christ, where he is portrayed as a white, to be brought down. “They are a form of white supremacy,” he said. “Tear them down. And tear down all the murals and stained-glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends,” too, King added. The statements of King, and their tone, of course, are outrageous, to say the least.
All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down.
They are a gross form white supremacy.
Created as tools of oppression.
They should all come down.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) June 22, 2020
Social media is divided on the issue, with many supporting the religious leader’s call for rethinking Christ’s depiction, and an equal number of people rising up in arms against the Reverend.
BLM – Statues of Jesus Christ should be torn down, but just the white ones. Historical note/fact: Jesus was a Jew, a Hebrew, neither white, nor black. Paintings/statues of Jesus are a reflection of the author's reverence, not racism. BLM fabrication. https://t.co/j2GTMQDfst
— Kevin Shipp (@Kevin_Shipp) June 23, 2020
Now leftists want to tear down Jesus. Shaun King is inciting attacks on our churches. They’ll attack everything hoping our foundation will crumble. The people on the ground think it’s about race, it’s not. Those like Shaun directing destruction know this is a Marxist insurgency. pic.twitter.com/aQKJQzaPOc
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) June 23, 2020
As we're waiting for the 2nd coming of our saviour Jesus Christ by Faith. Unfortunately 97% of Africans won't know him when he come because they'll be waiting to see that handsome white man as they've made to believe he's white but little did they know he's black
— Ezepatricktwittpage (@Ezepatricktwit1) June 23, 2020
Jesus Christ isn’t White or American. Believers, if your faith is defined by either of those things, or if your understanding of the Gospel is dependent on those things, have you encountered Jesus at all?
Prayerfully consider the beauty of “For God so loved the WORLD.”
— kathryn (@happilykathryn) June 23, 2020
When you give the mob an inch, it will take a mile.
And now the left-wing mob is coming for churches.
It's time to stop this madness. https://t.co/eSEe1hmF6t
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 23, 2020
Jesus Christ has never done anything for Yoruba race. Jesus was a tool the colonizers used to make sure every black persons stays brainwashed. Until you free yourself from white supremacy. You'll continue seeing Sango as evil while promoting Jesus as your savior
Esu isn't Satan
— IFA FUNSHO (@funshographix) June 28, 2020
— 🇬🇧 UKIP Bath & North East Somerset Branch (@BathNESUKIP) June 26, 2020
“I don’t think that throwing out everything we’ve got in the past is the way to do it but I do think saying: ‘That’s not the Jesus who exists, that’s not who we worship’, it is a reminder of the universality of the God who became fully human,” the Archbishop shared in the BBC interview.
By speaking openly on the subject, the Archbishop has effectively signalled that talking about issues like these, particularly about Christ’s complexion, is no longer out of bounds for common people. A conversation for making the world’s largest religious order more inclusive has just been initiated.