A Netflix Christmas comedy special portraying Jesus as gay has outraged more than a million conservative Christians in Brazil who want it removed.
Brazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos (which translates to “Back Door”) created the film, which is titled The First Temptation of Christ.
The parody film sees Jesus Christ bringing a flamboyant male friend home to Mary and Joseph’s house to find a surprise 30th birthday party in his honour.
While the film’s not a documentary, petitioners slammed the comedy group as “demons” and “heretics”.
One critic accused the creators of showing “disrespect for the faith of the Catholic Church and especially for God.”
Another wrote, “No one is obliged to believe in Jesus Christ, but we demand respect for our beliefs.
“Whoever disrespects my God does not deserve my money.”
Another petitioner raged that the film “a criminal offence under Brazilian criminal law”. This was because “discrimination and prejudice based on race, ethnicity, color, RELIGION or national origin is an offence.”
Brazil group behind Netflix film defends ‘artistic freedom’
In response to the furore, Porto dos Fundos tweeted a link promoting a separate petition slamming the special.
“Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humor through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society,” the group said.
“[We believe] that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country.”
Netflix has a subtitled version of The First Temptation of Christ available to stream in Australia.
Brazil is predominantly a Catholic country, and Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has said he is “proudly” homophobic.
After Bolsonaro’s election, anxious Brazilian same-sex couples rushed to get married before his inauguration in January.
Human rights groups in Brazil say violent deaths of LGBT people in the country are at an all-time high.
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