Our Father, who art in MySpace

London, England - Jesus Christ was recruited to the internet phenomenon MySpace yesterday with an allegedly humorous online page advertising his love of beards, extreme water-skiing and the Monty Python film Life of Brian.

He has been sent into cyberspace as part of an advertising crusade that also features an image of his face on the side of a beer glass.

The campaign, which is run by the ecumenical charity Churches' Advertising Network, aims to provoke debate about God among young people this Christmas.

Thousands of posters showing the face of Jesus in beer foam will be accompanied by the question: "Where will you find him?"

The adverts will direct readers to myspace.com/isthisjesus – a page on the social networking site MySpace, 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.

"It may be very arrogant to set up Jesus's MySpace," said Simon Jenkins, of Churches' Advertising Network. "But it is a voyage of exploration. Let's hope God is guiding it in the right direction.

"MySpace is hugely culturally significant. It is the place where young people are most likely to meet up and we need to go to our audience."

The charity, which has teetotal Salvation Army representatives and Methodists as well as members of the Church of England, denied that the pint-glass posters would encourage drinking.

Tony Miles, a Methodist minister, said: "Binge-drinking is a huge problem but this is an image that young people are familiar with and is meant to illustrate that you find God in unexpected places."

The group, which has no formal links with the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England, has ruffled feathers in previous years by depicting Jesus as Che Guevara. It has also portrayed the Last Supper as a boardroom meeting of multinational companies, with Judas as Microsoft.

The latest image of Jesus among the beer dregs is supposed to highlight the trend for finding religious faces in ordinary objects and selling them on eBay. Examples include the Virgin Mary on a toasted cheese sandwich.

The Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England appear resigned to such stunts.

A spokesman for the Church of England said: "Advertising like this will always upset somebody. But maybe it will reach the people other efforts cannot reach."

The Catholic Enquiry Office said Jesus also used "many different tools" to communicate his message.

Even the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, who has criticised previous campaigns, said he would encourage visits to Jesus on his new homepage. But Stephen Green, of the campaign group Christian Voice, said: "Their heart is in the right place but the Church is in danger of losing the holiness and dignity of Jesus."

Martin Saunders, the editor of the Christian youth magazine Youthwork, which is read by 20,000 people, said: "I'm not sure what this campaign does except trivialise Jesus."

However, Francis Goodwin, the chairman of the charity, said: "The message is subtle but simple – where is God in all the boozing at Christmas?"

The campaign will be accompanied by radio advertisements in which young people discuss their faith.