India to show “Da Vinci” to Catholics before release

May 16, 2006

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Indian government decided on
Tuesday to show the controversial film, “The Da Vinci Code,” to
Catholic groups before taking a decision on clearing it for a
scheduled release later this week, a spokesman said.

There have been sporadic protests by some Christian and
Muslim groups against the film, based on a bestselling novel
which claims Jesus married his female disciple Mary Magdalene
and had a child with her.

“The (information) minister has said the film would be
shown to Catholic groups and a final decision taken only after
that,” a spokesman of the ministry of information and
broadcasting told Reuters.

The movie is scheduled for worldwide release on Friday.

Christians form about one percent of Hindu-majority India’s
billion plus population, while Muslims make up around 13

Earlier in the day, about two dozen activists of a
little-known Christian group held a protest in India’s western
commercial hub of Mumbai and their leader announced he was
going on a fast unto death.

“If the film is screened, it will be a sad day for secular
India,” Joseph Dias, secretary of the Catholic Secular Forum,
told Reuters. “We will protest until the movie is banned.”

(Additional reporting by Sanjay Rajan in MUMBAI)

Source: reuters

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