Nazarene devotees group files complaint vs. Pura Luka Vega over 'Ama Namin' video

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 17) — Religious group Hijos del Nazareno-Central filed a complaint against Pura Luka Vega on Thursday over the drag artist's controversial "Ama Namin" performance.

Filing the complaint before the Manila City Prosecutors Office, the "hijos" — devotees who primarily keep the Holy Image of the Black Nazarene safe during "Traslacion" — alleged Vega violated Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code or for "Immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows," and the Cyber Crime Prevention Act.

In early July, Vega, whose real name is Amadeus Pagente and who uses the pronoun they, posted on social media a video where they were in a drag outfit meant to resemble Jesus Christ performing a rock rendition of "Ama Namin," the Filipino translation of the Lord's Prayer.

This drew flak from the public and some lawmakers, though Vega said it was meant to challenge notions of praise and worship, and not to blaspheme or disrespect. The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

RELATED: Pura Luka Vega sorry but stands by controversial 'Ama Namin' performance

The Hijos del Nazareno-Central said it believes the impersonation was a "high level of blasphemy" which the drag queen "proudly posted" on social media.

"Subalit ang nakakalungkot, makalipas ang mahigit isang buwan, hindi namin nakita kay Amadeus Pagente ang pagkilala na ito ay pagkakamali. Sa halip, ang namasid namin ay aroganteng pagtatanggol ng kanyang mga maling ginawa na nagsisikap magtago sa kulambo ng 'komunidad ng LGBTQIA+' at Kalayaan ng Sining," the group said.

[Translation: It's sad that after over a month, we did not see from Amadeus Pagente the recognition that the act was wrong. Instead, what we saw is the arrogant justification of their wrong acts, seeking to defend it under "LGBTQIA+ community" and freedom of expression.]

"Ginoong Pagente, ang pagsasampa po ng kasong ito laban sa inyo ay ang mismong pagbibigay ng pagkakataon para sa inyo para ipagtanggol ang inyong sarili sa isang matuwid, marangal at legal na proseso," the group added.

[Translation: Filing this complaint against Pagente is actually giving them a chance to defend themself in a righteous, noble, and legal process.]

On July 31, three Christian church leaders under the Philippines for Jesus Movement also individually lodged complaints against the drag artist, alleging the same violations.

Vega has also been declared persona non grata in the provinces of Laguna and Bukidnon; cities of Manila, General Santos, and Cagayan de Oro; Floridablanca town in Pampanga; and Toboso town in Negros Occidental.