Police seize comics on Christ as surfer-dude

Copies of the Greek translation of an Austrian cartoonist’s book that pokes fun at the New Testament account of the life of Jesus Christ have been confiscated following police raids on central Athens bookshops. Gerhard Hederer’s «The Life of Christ,» a comic book published in Greece by the Oxy publishing house, presents the central divinity of the Christian faith as an amiable, hippy-like mortal on whom incense has mildly hallucinogenic effects, who surfs – rather than walks – on water and who is surrounded by venal followers. Police started to seize copies of the book on Tuesday, acting on a prosecutor’s warrant, while Oxy owner Nikos Hadzopoulos has been charged with «insulting a religious faith.» The last similar incident in Greece was in 1981, when police seized translations of the Marquis de Sade’s works. Yesterday, the Church of Greece backed the seizures.