Singapore men’s lifestyle magazine FHM is being taken off the racks after heavy criticism from churches about two tongue-in-cheek articles in this month’s issue, entitled "Which of These Celebs Might Secretly be Jesus?" and "Jesus 2.0: What can we expect?".
Singapore’s churches described the articles as deplorable, because they "make fun of the Lord Jesus Christ" and were published in the holy season of Lent, when Christians remember the sufferings and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
"They cause serious offence and hurt the sensitivities of the Christian community," said the National Council of Churches of Singapore, representing more than 150 churches of all denominations.
The magazine’s senior editor, David Fuhrmann-Lim, apologised on Friday for any offence caused, and said that "while the article was written with a tongue-in-cheek humour, we do realise now it was not done in the best taste or judgment. An apology was also posted on the magazine’s Facebook page.
Singapore’s media regulator, the Media Development Authority, said it is investigating the magazine "for possible breach of content guidelines".
Council president Bishop Dr Robert Solomon and three vice-presidents signed the statement, which noted that it had become "fashionable" to depict religions in the media in ways that are offensive to religious communities. The council urged that "society must be on guard against such trends".
FHM Singapore is a title produced by MediaCorp Publishing, which also publishes the Today newspaper. The company is part of the MediaCorp corporate group that grew out of Radio & Television Singapore, and operates nine television channels, 13 radio stations, a stable of 12 fashion, entertainment and lifestyle magazines, and other media businesses.
via Today online, AsiaOne