MANILA: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, well known for his outrageous statements and unfiltered attacks on his rivals, has sparked anger in the largely Catholic country by calling God "stupid". In a televised speech in Davao, he slammed the story of Adam and Eve's fall from grace in the Bible and the logic behind the Christian concept of original sin, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
While the church and many citizens condemned his remarks, his office said he was expressing personal beliefs.
Duterte has in the past also criticised the Pope in crude language and has given statements widely deemed as highly offensive, cruel or misogynist.
Asking "Who is this stupid God?", Duterte criticised the Biblical story of creation and Adam and Eve being thrown out of the Garden of Eden after they ate the "forbidden fruit".
"You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work," he said.
Duterte also slammed the concept of original sin, whereby all humans are tainted by Adam and Eve's wrongdoing, saying: "You weren't born yet, but now you have original sin... What kind of religion is that? I can't accept it."
In response, local Catholic bishop Arturo Bastes called the President a "madman" and urged people to pray for his "blasphemous utterances and dictatorial tendencies" to end.
Duterte is a known and open critic of the Catholic Church in a country where more than 90 percent of people are Christian and the vast majority of those are Catholics.