Cover art causes 85 per cent of American Christian bookstores to ban P.O.D. album.

BEST SELLING US Christian rock band P.O.D. have had their new album 'Payable On Death' banned by 85 per cent of America's Christian bookshops because of its "controversial" cover art, which depicts a naked woman with butterfly wings, her arms crossed over her breasts and a banner with the word "Sanctus" (a Latin word for the sung part of the preface in Mass) across her nether region.

The bookstores' main complaint is that the woman's pubic bone is visible, a spokesperson for the band said, but they're also unhappy that the artwork uses a sacred word in a sexual manner. "This is sad, not because P.O.D. need to be carried in those stores, but because for thousands of years the Church led the world in great art and music," the band said in a statement on their website. Daniel Martin Diaz, the artist who did the cover art for the album, is quoted in Australia's Undercover.com, "It's quite ironic that throughout my art career, I have been censored by a reputable art publication and denied inclusion into art exhibitions because my work is too religious. Now my work is being censored by religious outlets. Some folks need to enlighten themselves with art history."

To counteract the measure from the Christian retailers, P.O.D., in a mass email, have urged fans to participate in a boycott against the Christian retailers, encouraging fans to stay away from Christian stores that are not carrying the album. Cover art on an earlier P.O.D. album, 'The Fundamental Elements Of Southtown', was also banned, to which retailers asked the group to change the artwork. P.O.D. chose a solid black cover instead for records released in Christian bookstores. CR