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Church apologizes after pastor cut, slapped, spit on as part of Easter lesson

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – An Ohio church has apologized for an Easter lesson in which a pastor encouraged students to slap, cut and spit on him — incidents that were captured in videos and posted online.

Justin Ross is lead pastor at Impact City Church near Columbus. He says the incident happened Monday at an organized hangout session for middle and high school students.

Ross says an associate pastor encouraged the attacks on himself as a way to help students learn about Easter and the crucifixion of Jesus.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that several students took the associate pastor up on the offer, and one cut him on the neck. Ross says cellphone recordings sparked backlash.

Ross said the topic was important, but the lesson went too far and was inappropriate.

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