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Europe - UK/Ireland - Christianity - General

Advert shows Jesus as Che Guevara
("BBC News," September 14, 2005)

London, England - A new advertising campaign to promote churches shows the baby Jesus in a Che Guevara-like pose.

In a pastiche of the great image of the revolutionary, the poster carries the slogan "Dec 25th Revolution Begins - Celebrate The Birth Of A Hero".

The campaign by the Church Action Network aims to dispel notions of Jesus as a "wimp in a white nightie".

Churches of all denominations will be invited to use the poster free of charge to promote worship.

It comes soon after the Alpha Course recruited model Kim Johnson, Premiership footballer Linvoy Primus and mountaineer Bear Grylls to front adverts.

The CAN campaign will see posters displayed at train stations and on outdoor billboards.

There will also be radio adverts voiced by BBC presenter Simon Mayo, posing questions such as: "If Jesus Christ came back today, would he be seen as God, or shunned as a refugee?"

Other questions include: "Was Jesus just an ordinary baby or someone who started a revolution?" and "Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Or do you think that Jesus was black?"

Francis Goodwin, chairman of CAN, said: "Our campaigns continue to be focused on Christ, rather than the Church because we've found the best way to engage with people is to talk about Jesus Christ and what he means to people today.

"We believe there is still a place for innovation and challenge in church advertising.

"This campaign will be properly co-ordinated and supported by churches and Christian agencies across all denominations and seen and heard throughout the country in the run-up to Christmas."