Leaders at an Ohio church found themselves apologizing after a disturbing video showed a pastor encouraging young students to spit in his face, slap him, and even slice his shirtless back with what appeared to be a steak knife.

Pastor Jaddeus Dempsey of the Impact City Church in Ohio said that he had done it to teach a lesson about Easter and the love that Jesus felt for mankind as he willingly endured crucifixion.

“This was completely my idea. Again, I let the students know there were no repercussions whatsoever,” Dempsey said in an apology video. “In fact, even several of the students felt bad afterward, and I told them it was what I had asked them to do.”

The church said that its board of directors has launched a review and investigation, and the church will fully implement its recommendations.

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