(RELIGION NEWS SERVICE) — “Bless you for playing Jesus, peace be upon him.”
This was the reaction of Lebanese-born actor Haaz Slieman’s mother upon learning that her son had been cast as Jesus in National Geographic Channel’s “Killing Jesus.” The three Abrahamic religions will collide on March 29 when the television special premieres, and the 24-year-old Muslim actor stars as Jesus, the Jewish rabbi that Christians believe was God in the flesh.
The television movie is adapted from the New York Times bestselling book by Fox News host and Roman Catholic Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Slieman digested the book among others in preparation for the role. He says he was excited to portray Jesus, a person he describes as “the ultimate teacher” who has “heavily influenced” his life.
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