Presidents of this Alpine village have voted against reforming their version of the Passion Play, which places blame for Christ's death on the Jews rather than the Devil.

The text has been a major issue in recent years, with Jewish organizations demanding its revision and threatening sanctions against Oberammergau and the play if it is not changed. The American Jewish Congress has threatened to lead a worldwide boycott of the play if the traditional script is retained.

Helmut Fischer, a lawyer who played Christ in the last Passion play performance eight years ago and led the demand for the change, wanted to substitute a 1750 text that blamed the Devil, not the Jews for Christ's suffering.

The battle between reformers and the old guard was the key election issue in this village, which has performed the Passion play every 10 years for centuries as a thanks offering for the end of the plague.

In elections Sunday, the reformers threw out the former council which last month decided to drop the text used since 1860 to try out an earlier text, that did not blame the Jews for the death of Christ.

Jewish leaders and Christian reformers say the present text's slighting references to Jews contradict the aim of Christian-Jewish reconciliation.