U.K. evangelistic ministry grosses out shoppers again with crucifixion scene
"Easter is not about fluffy bunnies and eating chocolate eggs, it's about what Jesus did for us," says Ian Willis of the Welsh evangelistic ministry Focal Point. And to "create a stir and shock people out of their consumerist complacency," the group re-enacts the crucifixion each Easter in town centers—with lots of gore. "If this offends people then that's too bad," Willis says.

Two years ago, some shoppers were so shocked by the display that they called for an ambulance. This year, they're just complaining that it's tacky. "It's appalling," Maria Lewis, 20, told The Guardian. "Easter should be observed, but not by shoving some poor bloke in a nappy on a cross and pouring red paint over him. It's confrontational. What gives them the right to do this?"

Next year, Focal Point wants to get rid of the "nappy" (that's a diaper for those of us on this side of the Atlantic). "We want to set up by a famous landmark [in London]," says Willis, "but next time with a fully naked Jesus." Or Focal Point could be really outrageous and take a cue from the Philippines.

Still no Burnhams Speaking of the Philippines, today's New York Times has an update on efforts to rescue American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham. It's not good news. "Expectations that an American missionary couple held hostage for 10 months would be freed Easter weekend collapsed [last night] apparently after the failure of back-channel negotiations, and after the Philippine military admitted that it had been unable to locate the couple's captors," reports Jane Perlez. Last night, it appeared that the Islamic guerrillas were going to release their other hostage, Filipina nurse Eldiborah Yap, ...

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