Kim Kardashian has been condemned by fans for using an image of herself depicted as the Virgin Mary as merchandise.
The picture of the 36-year-old reality TV star as Jesus Christ’s mother was posted on an Instagram account promoting her Kimoji brand of electronic emoji images.
The brand’s website also offered a candle featuring the same image for $18.
Outraged Christian fans were quick to condemn the star, whose mother Kris Jenner was raised as a Catholic, in angry comments posted below the pictures.
One user wrote, “This is shameful. Remove this image immediately. Our blessed Mother Mary is irreplaceably (sic) sacred and we will not stand for this!”
The Virgin Mary is particularly sacred in Catholicism, with followers of the faith often praying to her for guidance.
Another angered fan added, “How dare you compare yourself to Mother Mary. You are a disrespectful and disgraceful human being getting desperate for attention. You call yourself Catholic? Everything you do is for publicity and now you involve religion. You are one desperate low life. May God have mercy on you.”
In the past, Kim and her family have been regular members of the congregation at the Life Change Community Church in Agoura Hills, California.
The use of the image on the candle sparked particular criticism, with one disgruntled fan accusing her of hypocrisy having previously spoken about her strong Christian faith.
“SO SO disrespectful it’s such a shame as you and your family always quote things from the bible and mention God all the time but you can’t even respect the Christian Faith,” they wrote. “You have taken it to another level now !! Very offensive !!”
The reality star is not the only celebrity to face a backlash over their use of religious iconography this week; Katy Perry outraged Hindu fans by posting a picture of the goddess Kali above a jokey caption reading, “current mood”.