Left-wing activist Shaun King on Monday said statues and images of Jesus Christ that look "European" should be removed because they are a form of "white supremacy."
"All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down," King wrote on Twitter. "They are a gross form [of] white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down."
The former surrogate of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) described Jesus, a Jewish rabbi, as "Brown" but said it's up for debate whether he was "real." However, King did say he was sure that representations of Jesus as "white" are lies created to foster white supremacy.
"We can debate [whether] or not Jesus was real all day long," King said in another tweet. "What I do know, is that white Jesus is a lie. And is a tool of white supremacy created and advanced to help white people use the faith as a tool of oppression. Also, they never would’ve accepted a religion from a Brown man."
It is common for images of Jesus to resemble the ethnicities of different regions around the world, even though Christians do not dispute whether he was born in Israel. Among Asian Christians, for example, Jesus can sometimes be represented with some Asian features.
In response to calls for these images to come down, Seattle pastor Brian Gibson and others with the group Peaceably Gather launched an initiative to prosecute the vandalization of churches.
"Churches will prosecute any vandals or agitators to the full extent of the law, including seeking hate crime designations for any attempt to desecrate church property or religious symbols," Gibson said in a statement.