Activists are calling for a radical change to one of Germany's traditional spectacles, which recreates the last five days of Jesus. They want the actor playing Jesus to enter on an e-scooter, not on a donkey.
The actor playing Jesus in the Oberammergau Passion Play next year should enter on an e-scooter rather than on a donkey, German animal rights activists said on Thursday.
"These days, Jesus would no longer travel on an ass. He would presumably move on an e-scooter or some other electric vehicle that is kind to animals and the environment," the German branch of the PETA animal rights organization said.
It called on the mayor in the small town in the Bavarian Alps to avoid using animals in the play, which will be staged between May 16 and October 4 next year.
Organizers have already rejected the proposal to use a scooter, but said they would adhere to animal welfare legislation. A spokesman said the Passion Play was historical in nature and that there were no electric vehicles at the time.
The play's long history in Oberammergau has turned it into a popular destination for tourists from all over the world
A long tradition
The play depicting the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is actually a centuries-old tradition in the Bavarian town.
Legend has it that in 1633, the residents of the town promised God that if they were spared from the bubonic plague raging at the time, they would stage a play showing Jesus' last days every 10 years. The prayers were answered and the first performance of the Passion Play took place in 1634.
The play depicting the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is actually a centuries-old tradition in the Bavarian town
Oberammergau's open-air stage with covered seating for an audience of 4,500 is claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world. Some 2,400 town residents will participate in the 2020 event, and half a million visitors are expected to watch the play.
The play's long history in Oberammergau has turned it into a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
sri/rt (dpa, KNA)