Archbishop of Canterbury says portrayal of Jesus as White should be reconsidered
London (CNN) Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, has said the church should reconsider its portrayal of Jesus as a White man.
Speaking to the BBC Today Programme, Welby was asked whether the way the western church “portrays Jesus” needed to be “thought about again” and “re-imagined” in light of recent Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.
“Yes, of course it does,” he said, adding that Jesus was portrayed differently in countries around the world. He was regularly in touch with Anglican Church leaders from around the world, he said, who did not portray Jesus as White.
“You go into their churches and you don’t see a White Jesus — you see a Black Jesus, or Chinese Jesus, or a Middle Eastern Jesus — which is of course the most accurate.
“You see a Fijian Jesus — you see Jesus portrayed in as many ways as there are cultures, languages and understandings.”
Welby added that the representations of Jesus were not, however, “who we worship” but rather served as a “reminder of the universality of the God who became fully human.”