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Netflix Christmas satire in Brazil sparks religious outcry

/ 06:56 PM December 12, 2019
Satire, Netflix

“The First Temptation of Christ” by Brazilian comedy group Porta dos Fundos drew criticism from conservative politicians, Evangelicals and Catholics. Image: Shutterstock/Diabluses

A Christmas satire on Netflix depicting Jesus in a gay relationship has sparked a backlash in Brazil, where hundreds of thousands signed a petition calling for the film to be axed.

“The First Temptation of Christ” by Brazilian comedy group Porta dos Fundos began streaming on Dec. 3, drawing criticism from conservative politicians, Evangelicals and Catholics.

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The teaser for the 46-minute movie says Jesus, who is turning 30, brings a “surprise guest” to meet his family.

More than 760,000 people had signed a Change.org petition by Tuesday afternoon calling for the film to be pulled for “seriously offending Christians.”

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“We support freedom of expression, but is it worth attacking the belief of 86% of the population,” tweeted Eduardo Bolsonaro, the eldest son of Brazil’s president and a member of Congress.

Brazil remains the world’s biggest Catholic country, although its flock has shrunk while Evangelical churches grow. Around 64% of the population identified as Catholics, according to the 2010 census.

Henrique Soares da Costa, a bishop in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, said on Facebook he had canceled his Netflix subscription over the film, describing it as “blasphemous, vulgar and disrespectful.”

Netflix Brazil would not comment on the outcry when contacted by Agence France-Presse.

For their part, Porta dos Fundos took to Twitter to “celebrate the success of God’s other creation: our Christmas special.”

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TAGS: Brazil, Catholic, christmas, Religion, Satire
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