An Ohio man says the zombie nativity scene he created was vandalized last week.
Jasen Dixon, a resident of Cincinnati's Sycamore Township, has erected the controversial nativity scene since 2014, but says this is the first year that it has been vandalized, according to Fox News.
The nativity shows Bible figures transformed into ghoulish characters. Baby Jesus sits upright in a bed of straw and appears to have greenish-grey skin, fangs and opaque black-ringed eyes.
Mary, Joseph, and the undead kings all have similar, haunting characteristics. Draped behind the figures is a banner with the words: "Zombie Lives Matter."
The Archdiocese of Cincinatti Communications Director Dan Andriacco said that while vandalism should not be condoned, the "zombie" nativity was blasphemous.
"The criminal vandalism of the so-called zombie nativity scene should be deplored by everyone," he wrote in an email shared with The Christian Post. "At the same time, however, it is not surprising that this blasphemous display evoked strong emotions from Christian believers."
He added, "Its original purpose seems to have been to gain attention through shock value, and a new burst of publicity predictably followed the vandalism. For followers of Jesus Christ, however, our attention this month is focused on the real shock of Christmas – that God so loved the world he sent his only son to save it."
Dixon has since reconstructed his creation and says he will continue to do so as many times as necessary.
The zombie lover said he isn't surprised by the pushback. "It rubs people the wrong way because it's zombies," he told WCPO. "I expect it. I'm like 'there's going to be mad people.' I wasn't mad or anything. I'm like, 'we'll fix it.'"
Although Dixon's zombie nativity has drawn the ire of some in the community, the creation has garnered more than 7,000 followers on Facebook.
Government officials, however, were not pleased. The controversial creation drew the attention of Sycamore Township, which took Dixon to court last year citing that the roof of the nontraditional structure violated zoning laws. Dixon faced 27 misdemeanor charges and $13,500 in fines.
The charges were eventually dropped, however, after Township Administrator Greg Bickford said the case wasn't worth the cost of litigation.
Dixon's attorney argued that the township was trying to suppress his freedoms.
It remains unclear as to whether the vandal or vandals took offense as a Christian, or as a lover of zombies. Dixon has since added cameras as a security precaution for what he calls a "work of art."