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29 March 2010

Press release

Twitter resurrects Easter with live passion play   

Twitter resurrects Easter with live passion play

An ancient tale of treachery, death and hope is being brought to life for the Twittering classes in a passion play for the 21st Century, happening in real time through Holy Week.

The final week of Jesus' life is being chronicled in 140-character bites in the Easter (LIVE) passion play, which started on Palm Sunday on Twitter and Facebook. The play can be followed on the Easter (LIVE) twitter feed as if events are unfolding in 2010, bringing an immediacy and accessibility to one of the most influential stories of our culture.

The story is being told from the perspective of a number of people who were in Jerusalem that fateful Passover week to witness the last days before Jesus' execution. Centurions, members of the Jewish high court, pilgrims and followers of Jesus alike, the characters are tweeting their experiences through the week as they see the man they love or loathe being put to death.

The characters also have their own Facebook profiles, and will post onto the Easter (LIVE) Facebook group. Followers can interact with the play on Twitter by retweeting or discussing it at #EasterLIVE, or on Facebook by responding to the wall posts.

Easter (LIVE) uses fringe characters to give the story a new perspective and to help followers identify easily with their experiences. Each character has been developed by a different member of the public - with and without a faith - who can identify with their ancient counterpart.

From Reverend Professor Nicholas Sagovsky, Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey, who plays a member of the Jewish High Court, to security guard and stand-up comic Liam Smith, who plays a centurion, they each bring their unique perspective to the story.

Andrew Horton, CEO of multimedia production service Worldview Media and creative director of the play, said: "Easter is a powerful story of scandal, betrayal, torture and hope that has captivated people for centuries, but with less people going to church, it is no longer one of the best-known stories of our culture. 

"Social media provides a wonderful opportunity to re-introduce people to the thrilling tale hiding behind the chocolate, the bunnies and the telly."

Easter (LIVE) is an initiative of Cliff College, Share Creative and the Evangelical Alliance as part of the Biblefresh movement of churches and agencies, which seeks to help people engage with the Bible.

Krish Kandiah, Chair of Biblefresh, said: "This is an opportunity for a new generation to hear the story that has fascinated people throughout the centuries.

"Be prepared to be shocked, inspired, surprised and excited as people of faith and no faith get inside the story of Jesus' passion."

The passion play follows on from an Easter (LIVE) Lent initiative in which Facebook group members and Twitter followers were invited to answer the question "What does Easter mean to you?"

To find out more and links to the Twitter and Facebook pages, go to www.eauk.org/EasterLIVE, which also features a feed of the play for people who are not on Facebook or Twitter.
Ends

Media Enquiries

Terry Ally
Evangelical Alliance
Direct: 020 7520 3853
Mobile: 07734 194 445
t.ally@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org. www.eauk.org