A board game pitting Jesus against Santa has outraged many Christians, who see the whimsical conflict as blasphemous.
“You’re putting Santa on the level of Jesus,” Tito Pel, senior pastor of Moores Hill (Ohio) Church of Christ, told WXIX-TV.
The game, Santa vs. Jesus, was made by the London-based company Komo Games and funded by a Kickstarter campaign, is played by two teams who overcome various challenges to win the most “believers,” reported the BBC.
Danny Webster, a spokesman for the Evangelical Alliance, said he would welcome a board game that promoted learning about Jesus at Christmas, but he said this particular game instead “trivializes Christian belief and equates them both as fictional characters.”
Amazon’s UK website was filled with negative reviews, complaining the game’s makers had mocked Christians and their faith.
“I dare you, creators of this game and Amazon, to make a game about Mohammed!” one reviewer said. “You wouldn’t would you! Then why pick Jesus? Christians are currently soft targets so why not jump on the bandwagon!”
Others complained the game cheapened their religious beliefs.
“I find it in the poorest of taste and offensive,” another reviewer said. “Jesus (complete with nail holes in hands) and Santa with his followers and friends fighting over a Christmas tree. How upsetting, cheap and nasty to corrupt the beauty and meaning of Christmas in this way.”
The online fundraiser met its goal of nearly $5,700 within 48 hours and eventually brought in more than $8,800.
One of the game’s creators said sales so far had exceeded expectations, and they had rushed through another order with the manufacturer.