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11 June 2014

Press release

Evangelical Alliance files complaint over offensive newspaper advertisement

Evangelical Alliance files complaint over offensive newspaper advertisement

City AM newspaper, Tue 10 June 2014

On the threshold of the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a gambling advertisement in the City AM newspaper has prompted an official complaint by the Evangelical Alliance over the virtual disfigurement of Brazil's national symbol - Christ the Redeemer statue.

The whole back page cover advertisement by sportingindex.com in the 10 June edition has portrayed Christ as a drunkard and a womaniser. The image of the statue was graphically altered and shown to be holding a bottle of booze in the right hand with the left arm around a bikini-clad model over the caption: "There's a more exciting side to Brazil."

The Alliance said the advertisement was religiously and racially offensive to all people and all religions - particularly to the large evangelical and Catholic communities in Brazil. On Tuesday it filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority.

The Alliance has also called on City AM to apologise for publishing this sacrilegious ad.

Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy of the Alliance, has condemned the use of the Christian iconic statute: 

"This advertisement is an offensive abuse of an image of Christ that is known and loved around the world. It is offensive to Christianity, which with its emphasis on freedom and grace is often an easy target for this sort of thing.

"I can't imagine many other religions being treated with such a lack of respect.

"If the games were being held in a Muslim majority country would City AM run an advertisement defacing Islamic religious symbols?

"Even so, quite apart from the offence it represents to the Brazilian people, the advertisement is also offensive to religion generally, in as much as it disregards the feelings of those of faith.

"Some things are, or should be, beyond exploitation for commercial purposes."

Dr Landrum has called on Christians to also complain to the Advertising Standards Authority and City AM.

If you would like to complain about the advertisement:

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.