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» 03/12/2004
Lebanon
Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir says Gibson's film is not anti-Semitic

Beirut (AsiaNews/Nahar) –  Cardinal Butros Nasrallah Sfeir, Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, said Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" is "not anti-Semitic at all". The prelate also said the film is "very tied to the facts, very moving and painful (to watch)".  

Even before the film was released in American and European the film was branded as anti-Semitic by Jewish groups which asked that it be banned from theaters. The film's author as well as many Christians and Jewish personalities have always denied that there was truth to the harsh criticism.

The Lebanese patriarch commented on Gibson's film after attending a special screening in Jounieh. "The scenes of Christ's last 12 hours of suffering before being crucified are very realistic indeed," he said.

Since many scenes are painful to watch, the head of the Maronite Church says that only adults should watch the film. Yet watching the movie, he says, is an important step for evangelization: "Now Lebanese have the opportunity to see just how much Christ suffered and had to pay to forgive all the sins of mankind."


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See also
03/11/2004 PHILIPPINES
Bishops impressed by "The Passion": "Mel Gibson is like Mother Teresa"
03/20/2004 ITALY
Jim Caviezel: Under the make-up, a man of Faith
03/30/2004 INDONESIA
Catholics and non Catholics welcome "The Passion of the Christ"
03/18/2005 PAKISTAN
From the Passion of Christ to the fight against social injustice
by Qaiser Felix
04/07/2004 philippines
'The Passion of the Christ': "A milestone in the cinema history"
cambodia
"The Passion: A Great Instrument For Mission Work"
pakistan
Viewers react to " Passion of the Christ"
INDIA
Gibson's film inspires passionate interest in Aramaic
THAILAND
Passion of the Christ raises questions among Buddhist audiences
IRAN
'Passion' opens despite Islamic objections
India
Gibson's "Passion" appreciated by Hindus, seen as antidote to fundamentalism
HONG KONG - TAIWAN – CHINA
"The Passion" : Movie theaters booked by churches inviting non-Christians
Qatar
After seeing "The Passion" Muslims start searching for the Gospel
philippines
'The Passion of the Christ': "A milestone in the cinema history"
south korea
"The Passion" welcomed by Protestants and Catholics
malaysia
Malaysian Muslims offended by "The Passion"
Palestine
"The Passion of the Christ" resounding success as moviegoers search for traces of anti-Semitism
China
"The Passion of the Christ" wins over non-Catholic youth
China
Pirated copies of "The Passion" used to evangelize
philippines
Archbishop Rosales: "Watch 'The Passion!'"
qatar
Gibson's "Passion" arrives in the Middle East
islam - christianity
Islam and Jesus: almost a "love affair" (profile)
lebanon - islam
"Issa's" (Jesus's) crucifix fascinates today's Islamic intellectuals
ITALY
Jim Caviezel: Under the make-up, a man of Faith
PHILIPPINES
Bishops impressed by "The Passion": "Mel Gibson is like Mother Teresa"

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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