Sir Elton John has claimed Jesus was a "super-intelligent gay man".

The openly homosexual musician made the claim in a magazine interview and admits he admires the Christian Messiah because his aim was to spread peace and love in the world.

The 'Rocket Man' singer - who is married to Canadian filmmaker David Furnish - told Parade magazine: "I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems.

"On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving.

"I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East - you're as good as dead."

Elton also revealed he fears he could be killed by a crazed fan - just like John Lennon and Gianni Versace.

The 62-year-old singer was close friends with fashion designer Versace - who was shot dead in July 1997 on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion by Andrew Cunanan - and admits he decided to increase his personal security following the tragedy.

Referring to Versace and Lennon, he said: "Two of them shot outside their houses. None of this would have happened if they hadn't been famous. Fame attracts lunatics. I never had a bodyguard ever until Gianni died. I don't like celebrity anymore."

Beatles legend Lennon died in 1980 after being shot by deranged fan Mark Chapman outside his apartment building in New York.