It's hard to imagine Depeche Mode without the hit single "Personal Jesus." This is one of their more straightforward and unpretentious songs, and it's also one of their best known. In fact, it was their highest-charting US single and the first to reach platinum status in the U.S.
The song was written by Martin Gore and Dave Gahan for their 1989 album Violator, a record which introduced them to the UK music scene. It became a massive hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States, charting in a dozen countries overall.
This track was also covered by many other artists, including Johnny Cash in 2002 and Marilyn Manson in 2004. It has been cited by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Despite being one of the most commercially successful singles Depeche Mode has ever made, it is not a religious song, nor is it about faith in any way. It is instead a song about human relationships. It's about how people tend to idolize other people and treat them like gods, even when it is unhealthy or unrealistic.
In 2004, the song reached #368 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and was voted as one of the "100 Greatest Songs Ever" by Q magazine. It was also the number-one single in several other countries and has been featured in several television shows.