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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 – EUROPE
For Baghdad archbishop, the persecution of Christians is the product of fundamentalism and international political calculations
by Jean Benjamin Sleiman*Some people carry out persecution; others, unseen, order it, guided by political projects that are not just the product of religious intolerance. In a speech the European Parliament, the Archbishop of Baghdad of the Latins, Mgr Sleiman, said that the violence against Christians reflects plans to break up Iraq and the Middle East. The violence must stop; Christians should become full citizens; the state should guarantee coexistence.
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.

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