Play where Jesus rapes a Muslim woman a hit with sold-out crowd; bishops criticize its theme

A controversial play that features Jesus Christ raping a Muslim woman has been featured to a sold-out crowd in Brno in the Czech Republic, but bishops are crying foul over its theme, as another performance is scheduled for May.

(Pixabay/geralt)A play in Czech Republic has received criticisms as it featured Jesus coming down from the cross to rape a Muslim woman.

The play, titled "Our Violence and Your Violence" and directed by Oliver Frljic, was presented the World of Theatre Festival and the Marulic Days Festival at the Croatian National Theatre and the Slovenian Mladinsko Theatre. It showed a scene where an actor playing Jesus Christ descends from the cross and proceeds to rape a Muslim woman. The actor also pretends to pull out a flag from her genitals.

Martin Glaser, the festival director, told reporters that the play is a legitimate reflection of Frljic's artistry. The story tackled the lack of awareness of the migrant crisis in Europe. It also poked and provoked idealisms about religion and the region's stance against what's happening in the Middle East.

Cardinal Dominik Duka, however, described the play to Prague Monitor as the "the sale of Christianity and its ideals." Bishops of the Apostolic Exarch and the Greek Catholic Church also asked the organizers to cancel the play, but the organizers rejected their pleas.

Glaser said that the audience had the right to make a choice to watch or ignore the play and they also have the right to form their own opinions regarding its theme.

At least 200 people watched the last presentation. The next performance has been set for May 26, and it's also sold-out.

In 2017, the Catholic Church in Split made a statement against the play's launch. "We urge all those responsible to take steps that [the play] does not offend people and humiliate culture," the statement read, adding that the presentation is offensive not just to God but also to man and a nation.