Religious community condemns Lost Tomb of Jesus
A new American documentary, ‘The Lost Tomb of Jesus’, which claims the remains of Jesus Christ and his family have been found, has been strongly condemned by religious groups.The film by Oscar-winning director James Cameron argues that 10 ancient caskets discovered in a suburb of Jerusalem in 1980 may have contained the bones of Christ and his family. The Russian Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim leaders have described it as a chase after a cheap sensation and condemned the documentary. ‘The Lost Tomb of Jesus’, due for release in the U.S. in March, will focus on the results of a scientific examination of the graves found in a Jerusalem suburb 27 years ago. The documentary makers claim the caskets bear the names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. And allegedly one of them even contains the remains of Jesus’s son. Russian religious leaders, however, derided the claims. ‘Every year before Easter we get this kind of sensational information, which feeds on the religious ignorance of the public. Scientific research is very important. However, science research is one thing, but using a situation like this is another,’ Igor Kovalevsky, the Secretary General of the Conference of Catholic Priests in Russia, stated. In Jerusalem, scholars and clergymen also criticised the film, saying it contradicts the major Christian belief that Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven. Meanwhile, James Cameron, the director of the film, has urged his critics to withhold comment until they see his film. ‘What this find does, and what this film does, and what this investigation does, is it celebrates the real-life existence of these people, this man who 2000 years ago had a vision,’ he said. In 1996, when a similar British TV documentary aired, archaeologists challenged the claims.