Activist Shaun King recently faced backlash for challenging the European version of Jesus Christ. As individuals and groups across the nation call for the destruction of Confederate statues, King called for the Caucasian depictions of Jesus Christ to be dismantled.
“If your religion requires Jesus to be a blonde haired blue eyed Jesus, then your religion is not Christianity, but White supremacy,” King posted on Twitter. “Christian Whiteness, not White Christianity, has been the primary religion of this country for hundreds of years.
“All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down,” he added. “They are a gross form of white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down. (sic)”
King faced immediate backlash by some on social media.
“Actually no statue of Jesus should come down, no matter the color. You’re a divider and don’t help anyone,” Twitter user @Money_Moose responded.
However, others agreed with King.
“Isn’t the Christian religion itself a form of White supremacy forced onto Black and brown people? Why do so many people not acknowledge this,” @veganrabbitblog responded on Twitter.
In the Bible, Jesus Christ’s race isn’t mentioned. But in Revelation 1:14-15, a description of Christ says “The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.”
However, the image of Jesus Christ would change throughout the centuries as the religion of Christianity grew and the depiction began to reflect different cultures.
According to History.com, the first form of art that featured a European version of Jesus Chris occurred in fourth century A.D. and was influenced by Greek and Roman gods. The image of Jesus Christ being a White man with blue eyes and blonde hair began to spread due to European artists who were active during the Renaissance (1300-1600).
King responded to the backlash he received by posting on Instagram, “If your faith requires Jesus to be a blonde haired blue eyed British man, then your faith is not Christianity, it’s whiteness. (sic)”