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Greek Bishop Seraphim of Pireaus launches lawsuit againts gay Jesus play for blasphemy

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  • Nathaniel Philosophos Uhlman
    The actors and creative team behind a play that depicts Jesus Christ and his apostles as gay face charges of blasphemy in Greece, according to court officials.
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 17, 2012
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      The actors and creative team behind a play that depicts Jesus Christ and
      his apostles as gay face charges of blasphemy in Greece, according to
      court officials.

      The production of/Corpus Christi/, a 1997 play by U.S. playwright
      Terrence McNally, was greeted with protests by priests and the
      right-wing Golden Dawn movement during its run in Athens in October. The
      Greek-language staging was eventually cancelled earlier this month.

      Greek Orthodox Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus launched a lawsuit against the
      production and called for charges of "insulting religion" and "malicious
      blasphemy."

      As is permitted under Greek law, charges were laid without specifying
      who would be charged. Police were told Friday to identify who involved
      in the play could be summoned to stand trial. No trial date has been set.

      If convicted, the actors and creative team face prison sentences of up
      to two years.

      The play's director, Albanian-born Laertis Vasiliou, said prosecutors
      were misdirecting scarce resources by pursuing his cast, rather than
      trying to nab tax evaders who have plunged the country into ruin.

      "What I see is that there are people who have robbed the country blind,
      who are not in jail, and the prosecutor turns against art," Vasiliou
      told Reuters.

      Vasiliou said his production, while it has parallels with the story of
      Jesus, centres around a figure named Jacob who presides over a gay
      marriage. One of the main themes of the work is corruption in the
      surrounding state.


      Albanian director targeted

      The attacks on the play, which faced weeks of protests before being shut
      down, centred heavily on the Albanian nationality of the director,
      according to BBC reporter Paul Mason.

      Right-wing party Golden Dawn is against immigration and urges
      deportation of anyone who is not Greek-born, Mason said in a recent
      interview with CBC's /Q/ cultural affairs show
      <http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Q/ID/2297041497/>.

      Party members often harass immigrants working in Greek markets, Mason
      said, adding that though the group has very low support among the Greek
      middle class, it has high support among the police.

      Almost every production of /Corpus Christi/ in the United States,
      including the 2010 revival, has been greeted with angry crowds hurling
      homophobic abuse in the name of religion, and the original L.A. run was
      greeted with protests and death threats.

      Last month, Greek state television came under fire from the main
      opposition party and critics for editing a gay kiss out of a broadcast
      of the British period drama /Downton Abbey./




      http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2012/11/16/gay-jesus-greece.html


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