(Photo: Facebook/Aline Franzoi)
The Brazilian edition of Playboy magazine recently announced that a model who claims to be evangelical will be on the cover of its September issue.
Aline Franzoi, who belongs to National Mission Evangelical Church in Brazil, was already under fire for being a ring girl for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) competitions, which some consider to be a violent sport. But now news of her upcoming Playboy cover adds additional oil to the heat she has received over her career choices.
According to her Facebook page, Franzoi responded in Portuguese yesterday to the recent backlash she has received over her decision to appear on Playboy.
"About the issue regarding my religion that came out in headlines saying I am 'Evangelical,' this will be the first and only time I will speak about it. I never wanted to link information about my religion and work since they are different areas," she wrote. "Journalists are the ones who link me with the title of 'Evangelical, not Aline Franzoi' but I'm sure everybody can differentiate it."
A Hispanic news site, Noticia Cristiana, reported that Franzoi told VIP, a Brazilian magazine, that she would not pose nude because she is evangelical. And prior to her most recent career controversy, Franzoi also told another Brazilian outlet, UOL, that she publicly displays her Christian faith in a bold manner.
"I'm evangelical and use my Facebook to tell how much God was and is powerful in my life. And, anyway, what's wrong with being ring girl? It is very concerning to know what is right and wrong, but in my view, God looks at our heart and our intention."
But her recent Facebook statement makes it unclear whether she considers herself an evangelical or not, and whether her opinion of appearing nude has changed.
The founder of Actors, Models and Talent for Christ, a talent agency based in Georgia, finds Franzoi's decision to appear in the men's magazine disheartening.
"Because media covers our world, today's Christian stars have an unprecedented opportunity to be positive role models. The Bible tells us to be imitators of Christ. We can't be perfect, but if we're truly following Jesus, He will perfect us," said Carey Lewis.
"I am saddened at the massive loss of innocence among our children, as well as the dramatic increase in human trafficking. Overt sexuality contributes to these tragedies. Actors, models and talent for Christ have a responsibility to set a better example," he added.
Although it is not clear whether Franzoi will pose nude or not for Playboy, her credibility as a Christian continues to be questioned.
"It's difficult to be a model while practicing a legalistic religion like Evangelicals do. She should either leave her religion or leave her career," commented Artemio Degas, a reader on Noticia Cristiana.
"God does see your heart, he sees that it's perverted," added another reader, Eliseo Flamenco.