Mormons turn to Killers singer
FACING a sceptical public that still has questions about whether their faith is a religion or a cult, the Mormon Church is turning to one of its least stereotypical adherents to win them over: Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of the rock band The Killers.
A four-minute video clip distributed online via YouTube is a reminder of the public relations struggle The Church of of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints feels it faces overcoming negative perceptions among many Americans. Among them is the misconception that it tolerates plural marriages, a practice it disavowed a century ago.
"There are lots of connotations that come along with popular music or rock music, and it's usually very sex-driven or money-driven, and I realised early on that that wasn't the road for me," Flowers says in the clip which shows him and his band recording.
"Maybe because of the foundations laid for me in my life by my mom taking me to church. I wanted to take a different road."
The church, based in Salt Lake City, feels vulnerable to the publicity generated by the conviction on child sex charges of Warren Jeffs, the leader of a splinter Mormon group that still pursues a polygamist lifestyle.
Meanwhile, a pastor in Texas, and fan of Republican presidential contender Rick Perry - whose main rival is Mitt Romney, a Mormon - caused offence when he called the religion a cult.