Madonna has spoken out about the controversial crucifix scene in her world tour, insisting many people have misinterpreted the meaning of the stunt. During her show, Madonna appears onstage on a glittering cross and strikes a crucifixion pose - an image which has shocked many fellow Catholics and led to protests outside the MATERIAL GIRL singer's concerts. And, as her record-breaking Confessions world tour comes to an end in Japan, Madonna has released a statement explaining the idea behind the controversy. She says, "I am very grateful that my show was so well received all over the world. But there seems to be many misinterpretations about my appearance on the cross and I wanted to explain it myself once and for all. "There is a segment in my show where three of my dancers 'confess' or share harrowing experiences from their childhood that they ultimately overcame. My 'confession' follows and takes place on a crucifix that I ultimately come down from. "This is not a mocking of the church. It is no different than a person wearing a cross or 'taking up the cross' as it says in the Bible. "My performance is neither anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous. Rather, it is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and to see the world as a unified whole. "I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today he would be doing the same thing." Madonna concludes the statement by asking of critics, "Please do not pass judgment without seeing my show."