A GROUP of gay-friendly Orthodox Christian models have released their latest calendar with artistic shots that are not intended for use in religious purposes but to bridge the gap between the current Orthodox Christian stereotype and the modern-day Orthodox Church member.

The group has been releasing these calendars since 2012.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, a spokesperson for the team behind the calendar said that their intention was to demonstrate that Orthodox believers do not all fit the backward, hidebound stereotype portrayed in the press but rather they were regular people with passions, preferences, interests and desires.

“At the same time, the calendar takes an ironic approach to the Orthodox Church itself, which in recent years has been embroiled in corruption scandals, artist repression, gay sex cover-ups, outrageous behaviour and homophobia,” the spokesperson said.

“The models are gay-friendly members of the Orthodox Church who have chosen to strip down for the sexy shoot because they believe – like us – in freedom of speech, tolerance, equality and human rights.”

The homoerotic nature of the photo calendar has attracted a mixed reaction from the church it represents, with one comment on the calendar’s website saying that they “did not approve but understand it could be appreciated by creative people and minorities.”

There has also been criticism in that sexualising the church this way was not the right path to take for LGBTI acceptance, nor to normalise and modernise the members of a group who have long been aligned with cover-ups of the same nature.

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h/t: Huffington Post

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