A judge has ordered Netflix to immediately cease and desist showing a “blasphemous” Christmas special that portrays Jesus Christ as a gay man and his mother, Mary, as a promiscuous drug addict.
Rio de Janeiro judge Benedicto Abicair issued the ruling in a response to a petition that gained millions of signatures and argued “The First Temptation Of Christ” film had hurt the “honor” of millions of Christians.
The judge’s ruling is valid in the majority Christian nation until another court orders otherwise.
Sky report: The film depicts Jesus returning home on his 30th birthday and suggests he is a homosexual.
The Netflix special was produced by the Rio-based firm Porta dos Fundos, whose headquarters were targeted in a petrol bomb attack on Christmas Eve.
No one was hurt in the attack, and a video circulating days later on social media showed three men claiming responsibility.
Porta dos Fundos has defended its film as legitimate freedom of expression in the face of anger from religious groups.
Netflix has said it will not comment on the ruling.
Porta dos Fundos also declined to comment on the judge’s decision, which contradicted an earlier decision rejecting censorship of the program.
The judge said the programme’s withdrawal “is beneficial not only to the Christian community, but to Brazilian society which is mostly Christian”.
Brazil has more Catholics than any other country, with the film prompting an angry reaction on Twitter.
One person said they had cancelled their Netflix subscription, writing: “I have nothing against being gay, but not when it mocks my God.”
Someone else described the film as “an attack not just on our faith but blasphemy against our Lord“.
The ruling comes at a time when some civil groups say far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is waging a “cultural war”, cutting funding for arts projects that challenge Christian values and denouncing flamboyant carnival celebrations.
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