A play depicting Jesus Christ raping a hijab-clad woman and pulling out a national flag from her genitals was performed to sold-out crowds in the Czech city of Brno and the Croatian city of Split this week amid protests. The controversial performance, which claims to address the refugee crisis in Europe, will be repeated on May 26.
Titled "Our Violence and Your Violence" and directed by a Croatian playwright Oliver Frljic, the play shows the actor playing Jesus descending from a cross and acting out the rape of a Muslim woman before pulling out the national flag of the country, where the performance is taking place, from her genitals.
It was performed this week at the World of Theatre festival in Brno in the Czech Republic and at the Croatian National Theatre in Split for the Marulic Days Festival, which is named after Croatian Renaissance poet Marko Marulic, whose work was influenced by the Bible.
Cardinal Dominik Duka, primate of the Czech Catholic Church, condemned the performance, calling it "the sale of Christianity and its ideals," according to Prague Monitor.
He said the play was offensive not only to Christians, but also to Muslims and all Czechs.
The Monitor reports that another performance of the play is scheduled for May 26, and the tickets have sold out.
The regional Catholic Archdiocese of Split, Croatia, also released a statement, urging "all those responsible ... to take steps that [the play] does not offend people and humiliate culture," according to DW.com. The play "offends God, man and nation," it added, noting it had "already provoked local and international condemnation."
According to Total Croatia News, protests erupted outside the theatre in Split when the play was being performed.
In an op-ed for PJ Media, Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, responded to the play.
"Europe's political and media elites want to convince everyone, by means of a relentless propaganda barrage, that in Europe today, the villains are the 'racist' 'Islamophobes,' and their innocent victims are Muslims," he wrote.
Spencer, author of the New York Times best-sellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and The Truth About Muhammad, observed, "One can commit blasphemy against Christianity and offend Christians with impunity. It's cool, it's edgy, and no one is going to get hurt."