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Russian Orthodox Activists Protest Against Jesus Christ (Superstar)
3.10.2012 12:09
Russian Orthodox Activists Protest Against Jesus Christ (Superstar)

The line "Jesus Christ, who are you, what have you sacrificed?" may soon acquire a double meaning in Russia. Thanks to the efforts of the Orthodox community one will begin to wonder, if the life of Christ was strikingly different in the Orthodox part of the world.

      Since the introduction of a bill against the religious offenders (which was prompted more by the Orthodox believers than Muslims) the Russian Orthodox community has been exercising their yet-to-be-gained right to be offended on pretty many occasions. They helped to scout the remaning members of Pussy Riot, threatened to take a well-known designer to court for blasphemy, but more lies ahead.

      In Rostov Region a group of Russian Orthodox activists filed a letter of complaint to the director of the local Philharmonics and the Prosecutor General of the region. They complained against the musical Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber. A quote from the letter: 

      "Now that a new law defending the interests of the faithful has been adopted, we decided to address the State for support. In our opinion, the image of Christ as it is presented in the opera is wrong from a Christian point of view. Even if such kind of performance does exist, it should be agreed with the Patriarchal See. The opera in its present form is profane. It is wrong to claim that this opera strengthens the faith. A faithful person would not go to see this performance, they would go to a church service instead".

      The undersigned were blissfully unaware that Jesus Christ Superstar was composed at the turn of 1960s-70s. Its first official performance took place in 1971. Since 1989 a Russian version of the rock opera was going with a full box at the Mossovet Theatre in Moscow, directed by Sergei Prokhanov. Who and why on Earth would need to confirm anything about this rock opera with the Russian Patriarch is absolutely unclear.

      This is not the first time the members of Russian Orthodox community protested against the "wrong" image of Christ. A scandal was caused in 1990s when the TV bosses attempted to screen Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ. The Russian religious went out of themselves to stop screening because of a sex scene between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

      Yet then there was no law protecting the feelings of believers. Now the show of Jesus Christ Superstar in Rostov-on-Don was cancelled - as per the request of the belivers.

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian church Russian theatre Russian society   

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