A judge has ruled a film portraying Jesus as gay must be taken down from streaming service Netflix in Brazil.
The First Temptation of Christ caused chaos in the country, infuriating local Christians. Vigilantes even fire-bombed the production company with Molotov cocktails back in December.
A petition to axe the film was created late last year and has since received over two million signatures.
“In favour of the removal of the film from the Netflix catalogue and for the [creators] to be held responsible for the crime of villainous faith,” the petition reads.
“We also want public retraction, as they have seriously offended Christians.”
Brazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos created the film which explores the idea of a closeted Jesus.
They told Variety, they said it’s the LGBTIQ community that should be offended.
“If anybody should be angry with us, it should be the gay community because a gay character turns out to be the Devil,” they said.
“But the gay community loves us!” they added.
What’s the big deal?
The film follows Jesus who returns home after spending forty days in the desert with his new “close friend”, Orlando.
Orlando (played by Fábio Porchat), however, is most certainly gay and accompanies Jesus to his surprise thirtieth birthday party.
“We play at insinuating that Jesus has a new friend, and probably this new friend is gay,” Porchat said.
“But they have just been having fun and a very good time in the desert for 40 days.”
According to recent findings though, Brazil has the highest number of Catholic Christians in the world (88.77%).
So it’s no wonder Brazilian pastor and Congressman Marco Feliciano tweeted his disdain for the Netflix special.
“Christians and non-Christians have asked me to take action against the irresponsible members of Porta dos Fundo,” the tweet reads in English.
“It’s time we took a collective action — churches and all good people — to put an end to this.”
Netflix ordered to remove the film
A Rio de Janeiro judge ruled “the right to freedom of expression… is not absolute”. He then ordered Netflix to temporarily remove the film from their website.
Judge Benedicto Abicai said his ruling should quieten the Christian uproar until a higher court can make a final decision.
“Exhibiting the ‘artistic production’… may cause graver and more irreparable damage than its suspension,” the judge wrote.
The members of Porta dos Fundos are yet to comment on the court’s decision.
In the meantime, check out the trailer for The First Temptation of Christ below.
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