Color-blind Passion play in Kentucky

March 31, 2004 at 4:48 PM

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky., March 31 (UPI) -- Churches in Nicholasville, Ky., have joined together to diversify the race of the actor portraying Jesus in the annual Easter Passion play.

The predominately white Nicholasville church invited other Baptist churches to join in presenting the Passion play for the first time this year in an effort to bridge the gap between black and white Christians, the Lexington Herald-Leader said.

Bill Brown, a 33-year-old white lawyer, is rehearsing his lines for Saturday when he will play Jesus. A black contractor will portray Jesus on Easter Sunday.

The 12 disciples will be evenly divided -- six black and six white -- and Mary, Joseph, Pontius Pilate, shepherds and lepers will be a diverse cast changing each performance.

"The skin makes no difference when you love the Lord," Esther Cox, a Nicholasville Baptist Church choir member, told the Herald-Leader.

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