msnbc.com news services
updated 7/8/2010 7:58:32 PM ET 2010-07-08T23:58:32

Playboy magazine is set to pull the plug on its Portugal edition after the July edition of the magazine showed an image of Jesus Christ on a bed with a topless woman, according to news reports.

The magazine’s Portuguese subsidiary, Frestacom-Lisbon Media Publishing, reportedly neglected to show the cover to Playboy before publication, thereby breaching the licensing agreement between the two companies.

Inside, the Portuguese edition of the magazine ran a photo shoot featuring Jesus Christ among topless models. A long-haired, glimmering Jesus-like figure is shown among various naked women. One of the women, who is heavily tattooed, appears to have died in his arms, reports say.

The photo shoot was meant to be a tribute to Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago’s “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ,” which is a fictional retelling of Christ’s life, depicting him as a flawed, human character, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported.

Theresa Hennessy, who is vice president of public relations at Playboy, told the newspaper:

“We did not see or approve the cover and pictorial in the July issue of Playboy Portugal,” adding that “it is a shocking breach of our standards and we would have not allowed it to be published if we had seen it in advance.”

“We are in the process of terminating our agreement with the Portuguese publisher,” Hennessy said.

See the cover at the Daily Mail's website.

© 2013 msnbc.com

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