Sir Elton John is facing backlash from Christian groups for his statement that Jesus was a "super-intelligent gay man."
The music legend made the claim in an interview with Parade magazine to be published this Saturday.
"I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems," said John. "On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East -- you're as good as dead."
According to the Press Association in the United Kingdom, religious groups have begun to attack the singer over the statement.
"The Bible says Jesus was without sin and that rules out homosexuality," said Stephen Green of Christian Voice, according to the Press Association. "This is a desperate cry for attention."
Mike Judge of the Christian Institute was dismissive of the Press Association reports.
"Had a senior political figure made these comments, I would have had an opinion," he said. "But this is Elton John and I don't think anybody takes him seriously."