'Killing Jesus' Movie Controversy

'Killing Jesus' Movie Controversy

The star who plays Jesus in the new miniseries Killing Jesus was raised a Muslim.

The casting of Haaz Sleiman, who was born in Lebanon and came to America when he was 21, is raising eyebrows among some conservative Christians.

But the handsome actor is filled with pride over his casting, saying it sends out an important message of tolerance. He told INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret he was raised to respect Jesus’ teachings.

Sleiman said, "I always was a huge fan of his and his teachings and what he stood for. So, it influenced me way before I even knew that I was going to do this."

See More of Sleiman's Interview with INSIDE EDITION

The miniseries is based on Bill O'Reilly's bestselling book. O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy were also turned into successful TV movies.

Killing Jesus also stars Kelsey Grammer as King Herod, the king of the Jews.

Sleiman said, "You get a perspective, a much deeper perspective about Jesus, and you relate to him at a level that you've never been able to relate to him before, at a human level."