A top KwaZulu-Natal private school that prides itself on its "Christian ethos" has come under fire from parents and the Christian community after allowing a matric pupil to display several works of art that mocked Jesus as a clown at its end of year prize-giving ceremony. Picture: Screengrab.

CAPE TOWN - The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) on Tuesday said it shares the serious concerns expressed by many Christians about the contents of a Grade 12 pupil’s final art project at Grantleigh School in Richards Bay.  

“We have learnt from a video that has been widely circulated by a parent of the school, that the project, among other things, depicts Jesus Christ and other Biblical figures in a highly derogatory fashion. In addition, the artwork includes torn up pages from a Bible, which is considered to be sacred and the inspired Word of God,” said ACDP’s Rev Kenneth Meshoe in a statement.

The private school which prides itself on its "Christian ethos" has come under fire from parents and the Christian community after allowing a matric pupil to display several works of art that mocked Jesus as a clown at its end of year prize-giving ceremony.

The party said this project which purports to justify the artist’s journey to atheism was, in its view, blasphemous and deeply offensive to many Christians. 

“It cannot, in our view, be justified under freedom of artistic creativity, and may well border on hate speech and religious intolerance. It is important that freedom of expression, which includes freedom of artistic creativity, must be balanced against the right of Christians to have their faith respected, as contained in the right to freedom of religion,” the statement said.

A video made by an angry parent of a matric pupil at the school went viral on social media and caused a massive backlash against the school.

“What makes this even more disturbing is that the school involved, Grantleigh, reportedly prides itself on its Christian ethos with its motto ‘To God be the Glory’. The question arises how this artwork glorifies God? We note that a previous artwork of the ‘Last Supper’ by the artist, was removed from the display. Reasons for this were not given,” said Meshoe.

“In light of the fact that this art project has caused offence among Christians, the ACDP appeals to the school to have it removed from display and to offer an apology to all Christians who have been offended by this blasphemous display.”

African News Agency (ANA)