The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Reverend Justin Welby, has suggested that Jesus should not be portrayed as white.
Reverend Justin Welby insisted the church must not ignore the Black Lives Matter movement and said Christians should rethink how Jesus Christ is portrayed as a white man.
He said this needs to be reviewed in light of anti-racism protests worldwide but added he did not want to throw out the past by moving forward.
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Welby, 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, was asked whether Jesus’ characterization needs to be looked at, appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
He said: “Yes of course it does, this sense that God was white. You go into churches around the world and you don’t see a white Jesus. You see a black Jesus, a Chinese Jesus, a Middle Eastern Jesus, which is, of course, the most accurate, you see a Fijian Jesus.”
The Archbishop insisted he did not want to “throw out” the past but said the “universality” of Christ needs a rethink.
He added: “Jesus is portrayed in as many ways as there are cultures, languages and understandings. And I don’t think that throwing out everything we’ve got in the past is the way to do it. But I do think saying ‘that’s not the Jesus who exists, that’s not who we worship’, it is a reminder of the universality of the God who became fully human.”
Speaking last week, the Archbishop said that the church is looking at whether some statues need removing after a surge in support for the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd.