During an interview with Evening Standard reporter Maureen Cleave, Lennon remarked, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink… We’re more popular than Jesus now—I don’t know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity.”Lennon’s comment went virtually unnoticed in England but created a controversy when quoted by American teen magazine Datebook five months later. The uproar that followed—burning of Beatles records, Ku Klux Klan activity, and threats against Lennon—contributed to the band’s decision to stop touring.
The Beatles Popular than Jesus:
John Lennon responds to questions about his “more popular than Jesus” remark at a L.A. press conference in August 1966: