A Christmas board game that started as a crowdfunding campaign has received criticism for supposedly pitting Jesus Christ and Santa Claus against each other in a "blasphemous" manner.
According to a report from the BBC website, the Christian group Evangelical Alliance has raised concerns over the board game called "Santa vs. Jesus," created for Christmas by developer Komo Games.
Danny Webster, spokesperson for the Evangelical Alliance, said while the board game will help people focus more on Jesus on Christmas, it is also problematic because it supposedly "trivialises Christian belief" and depicts both Christ and Santa Claus "as fictional characters."
"With over 4 out of 10 people in the U.K. mistakenly thinking that Jesus was not a real historical person, this game won't help correct that," Webster was quoted by BBC as saying.
"At its heart Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus and the gift of life He brings. Santa comes from the story of St. Nicholas who as a Christian bishop was generous to the poor and was very happy to have Christ as his king," he added.
The controversial board game started as a campaign in the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, where it received over $9,000 from 150 supporters.
The game divides players into two teams – Team Jesus and Team Santa – and pits them against each other in various challenges to win the most "believers."
Some customers who viewed and reviewed the board game on Amazon were appalled by its concept.
One reviewer was quoted by BBC as saying: "I find it in the poorest of taste and offensive. Jesus (complete with nail holes in hands) and Santa with his followers and friends fighting over a Christmas tree. How upsetting, cheap and nasty to corrupt the beauty and meaning of Christmas in this way."
Another reviewer named Robert H meanwhile called the board game "absolutely shocking and blasphemous."
Despite the criticisms to the game, one of its creators, Julian Miller, said sales "are exceeding all expectations and we've had to rush through another order with our manufacturer to keep up with the demand."