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» 03/12/2004
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"
"The Passion: A Great Instrument For Mission Work"
Viewers react to " Passion of the Christ"
Gibson's film inspires passionate interest in Aramaic
Passion of the Christ raises questions among Buddhist audiences
'Passion' opens despite Islamic objections
Gibson's "Passion" appreciated by Hindus, seen as antidote to fundamentalism
"The Passion" : Movie theaters booked by churches inviting non-Christians
After seeing "The Passion" Muslims start searching for the Gospel
'The Passion of the Christ': "A milestone in the cinema history"
south korea
"The Passion" welcomed by Protestants and Catholics
Malaysian Muslims offended by "The Passion"
"The Passion of the Christ" resounding success as moviegoers search for traces of anti-Semitism
"The Passion of the Christ" wins over non-Catholic youth
Pirated copies of "The Passion" used to evangelize
Archbishop Rosales: "Watch 'The Passion!'"
Gibson's "Passion" arrives in the Middle East
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Islam and Jesus: almost a "love affair" (profile)
lebanon - islam
"Issa's" (Jesus's) crucifix fascinates today's Islamic intellectuals
Jim Caviezel: Under the make-up, a man of Faith
Bishops impressed by "The Passion": "Mel Gibson is like Mother Teresa"

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