BBC to exonerate Judas in Jesus Christ drama

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The BBC is to screen a new drama about the final week in the life of Jesus Christ which appears to exonerate Judas and Pontius Pilate.

Producers of The Passion have portrayed the men in a sympathetic light because they believe they have been"very harshly judged" by history.

Judas is portrayed as torn between his loyalties to Jesus and Caiaphas, who organised the plot to kill Jesus.

Pilate, played by James Nesbitt, is shown struggling to manage his wife's social aspirations and his career as he tried to"keep a lid" on tensions in Jerusalem.

Traditional Christian groups accused the BBC of rewriting the Gospel, but the makers of the series, which will be broadcast over Easter week, said they were simply trying to understand the motivations of the characters.

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