A provocative billboard advertising campaign launched by an Australian Muslim group claiming that Jesus was a prophet of Islam has outraged Christians in Sydney.
The group, Mypeace, says its aim is to inform, not to offend, with Islamic awareness campaign, featuring four different slogans.
But one Catholic bishop said the assertions - made on roadside hoardings - are 'a direct assault on Christian beliefs'.
Outrage: One of many Muslim-erected billboards that have infuriated Christians
Outraged: Julian Porteous, Auxiliary bishop at the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney called the billboards an attack on Christianity
The slogans read 'Jesus: A Prophet of Islam'; 'Holy Qur’an: The Final Testament'; 'Muhammad: Mercy to Mankind'; and 'Islam: Got Questions? Get Answers'.
The posters invite people to get in touch by phone or online to obtain literature and a free copy of the Koran.
Mypeace says they will stay up for four weeks and will later be placed on the city's buses, Australian website cnsnews.com says.
A day after it appeared one of the billboards featuring the Jesus slogan was vandalised, according to the website.
Mypeace said its aim was to 'address the many misconceptions on Islam, to educate fellow Australians on Islam, invite them to ask any questions that they may have'.
Jesus is sometimes invoked to assert some sort of commonality between Muslims and Christians, implying that Muslims, too, 'believe in Jesus'.
But Muslims, and the Koran, deny the central Christian beliefs of Jesus' divinity, crucifixion and resurrection.
Elsewhere on its website, Mypeace states that 'the Qur’an repeatedly reminds that Jesus was a human prophet sent by God, not part of God Himself'.
Julian Porteous, auxiliary bishop at the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, told the website: 'In Australia with its Christian heritage a billboard carrying the statement ‘Jesus A prophet of Islam’ is provocative and offensive to Christians.'
Slogans: The group says the billboards will remain in place for four weeks
Provocative: On its website, Mypeace states that 'the Qur'an repeatedly reminds that Jesus was a human prophet sent by God, not part of God Himself'
'Central to Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ is more than a prophet,” he said.
'He is the Son of God. He is acclaimed Lord and Savior of humanity. This statement is a direct assault on Christian beliefs.'
Urging Mypeace to take down the posters, Bishop Porteous said that religions should avoid offending people of different faiths.