On May 4, 2021, a TikTok user named @jesusiskinghub posted a video that appeared to show a man attacking an actor during a passion play. The performance reenacted the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, as represented in the Bible:
The video was captioned: "Me going back in time to help Jesus."
A higher-quality version of the moment was available on YouTube:
However, the strange moment of the man attacking the Roman soldier actor wasn't from an Easter performance in 2021.
Brazil in 2018
The actor playing a Roman soldier was identified as Samir Rodrigues. He was reportedly not seriously injured in the attack.
The man who struck him in the head with a motorcycle helmet was not identified. The man's brother reportedly said that he was "taking controlled medication and had been suffering from a psychotic episode." According to The Independent:
William da Silva, the city's planning director, told G1 more than 1,000 people were in the town square watching the show and at first no one could believe what was happening.
"[The man] leapt up from the middle of the audience and no one guessed what he was about to do," Mr Da Silva said.
"Witnesses reported the attacker was shouting ‘he was not going to let Jesus die' before he barged onto stage."
The outraged man is alleged to suffer from mental health problems and drug abuse and is known to police.
According to the reporting, the actors who portrayed Roman soldiers were given new helmets days earlier by a city businessman, which may have saved Rodrigues from serious injury.
The TikTok video had been viewed more than 1.5 million times in just over two days.
Comparatively, the most popular YouTube version only had 82,000 views after being posted more than three years earlier.