The controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's new movie THE PASSION OF CHRIST has been praised by a member of the Jewish community - because it's reignited discussion about JESUS.

The upcoming film has been at the centre of protests from members of both the Christian and Jewish community, which has prompted SUSAN PERLMAN, a member of JEWS FOR JESUS, to address the issue in a full page advertisement in today's (03FEB04) edition of Hollywood trade publication DAILY VARIETY.

In a piece entitled "An Open Letter to Mel Gibson from a Jew for Jesus", Perlman writes, "I hope you won't feel like this letter is an intrusion, but with all the flack you are experiencing right now over the Passion, I just had to write.

"This ordeal has to be tough for you to take. All the controversy, I mean. But then you're probably not completely surprised. Anytime anyone makes a statement about Y'SHUA (Jesus) they stir up a controversy...

"Over the years, many so-called 'Christians' have blamed my Jewish people for Jesus' death. The hatred and persecution we've endured as a result is tragic, and that's made some Jews very defensive when it comes to the subject of the Passion...

"I just want to tell you to hang in there, Mel. There are lots of us Jewish people who are grateful that you made this film. Because of the Passion, this important topic is being discussed passionately - and that's a good thing."

04/02/2004 01:48