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Justin Bieber's New Album 'Purpose' Banned in the Middle East Because It 'Promotes Christianity'

( [email protected] ) Oct 13, 2015 12:06 PM EDT
The new album "Purpose" from singer and songwriter Justin Bieber has been banned from some predominantly Muslim countries as they fear it promotes Christianity, thanks to the cross tattoo on singer's chest.
Justin Bieber's latest Kanye West-assisted LP is out November 13th. Getty Images

The new album "Purpose" from singer and songwriter Justin Bieber has been banned from some predominantly Muslim countries as they fear it promotes Christianity, thanks to the cross tattoo on singer's chest.

According to gossip website TMZ, the album will not be allowed in a number of Middle Eastern countries, including Indonesia, because the "provocative" cover art features the 21-year-old with his head bowed and cross tattoo situated between his hands.

In turn, the Canadian singer's team is reportedly now working on alternate imagery so they can still push the record with a second cover.

Over the past few months, Bieber has become increasingly vocal about his renewed Christian faith, which he said has motivated him to "live like Jesus."

While admitting he has a long way to go, Bieber, who has been known to spend time with Carl Lentz, Hillsong NYC co-pastor and worship leader Joel Houston, City Church Pastor Judah Smith, and other influential young Christian leaders, told Complex magazine in September that he has already changed significantly due to his Christian faith.

"At this point, my faith has gotten me to where I am," the singer asserted. "My faith has brought me to a whole other level. I love talking about my faith. I think that with Christians, they've left such a bad taste in people's mouths. Just like, overly pushy with the subject, overly churchy and religious ... You ever flicked on a channel and a late-night church show is on? Sometimes it's like, 'You better do this or you gon' die and you gon' burn in hell!' And you're like, I don't want anything to do with this. I'm the same way. I'm not religious. I, personally, love Jesus and that was my salvation. I want to share what I'm going through and what I'm feeling and I think it shouldn't be ostracized."

He also emphasized that more than anything, he wants to "live like Jesus."

"Not be Jesus-I could never-I don't want that to come across weird," he clarified. "He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind. If you believe it, he died for our sins. Sometimes when I don't feel like doing something, but I know it's right, I remember, I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't feel like going to the cross and dying so that we don't have to feel what we should have to feel ... We have the greatest healer of all and his name is Jesus Christ. And he really heals. This is it. It's time that we all share our voice. Whatever you believe. Share it. I'm at a point where I'm not going to hold this in."

He also highlighted that going to church does not necessarily make one a Christian: "That's the whole thing with religion that's been throwing off the people. It's not a 'have to.' It should be just like a personal relationship. Like, 'Hey, I love you because you first loved me.' If we can understand that we're all imperfect, let's come to God and come for his help. You're not weak by doing that.

As reported by the Gospel Herald, Bieber was baptized by Lentz last year and often worships at Hillsong NYC, even attending the Pentecostal church's annual conference in Sydney Australia in July.

Bieber's latest Kanye West-assisted LP is out November 13th.