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Sri Lankan bishops condemn distorted image of Jesus on social media

Demand authorities ensure that no founders of religions are insulted

Sri Lankan bishops condemn distorted image of Jesus on social media

A Jesus Christ statue at a Passion play in Negombo. Bishops are angered by a photo depicting the president as Christ.  ( file) 

September 13, 2017

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Catholic bishops in Sri Lanka have condemned the posting on social media of an image of Jesus Christ with the super-imposed face of the country’s president, Maithripala Sirisena.

Bishop J.Winston S. Fernando, president of the Sri Lankan Catholic bishops' conference, in a statement, called on authorities to ensure that no founders of religions are insulted.

The image was circulated largely via Facebook.

"The last 2000 years have witnessed many a martyr who sacrificed their lives for His name,” said the statement.

Lay Catholics also reacted.

Aruna Gamage, a Catholic teacher from Colombo Archdiocese, said it presented Jesus in a negative way, including to small children.

He said force would not stop incidents such as this one, but they could be combated by dialogue, especially with young users of social media.

Approximately 70 percent of the island nation's population of 21 million is Buddhist, 15 percent Hindu, 8 percent Christian and 9 percent Muslim.

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