Government Says Only Christians Should Watch Gibson's "Passion"

July 10, 2004

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Wire Service: AP

On July 10, 2004 the Associated Press reported, "Censors have approved Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ" for screening in Malaysia, but the government says only Christians should watch it and only specially designated cinemas can show it. The film -- a huge hit in the United States, although some worried it could stoke anti-Semitism -- was widely expected to be banned in Malaysia, a multiethnic but predominantly Muslim country that often restricts movies about religion and other sensitive topics. The government announced this week the movie could be shown, under certain conditions, but publicity material such as posters and movie trailers were not allowed. The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, a group of interdenominational churches, said Friday the government had consulted with church leaders, who agreed to the restrictions and were glad the film could be shown at all...About two-thirds of Malaysia's 25 million people are ethnic Malay Muslims. Most of the rest are ethnic Chinese and Indians, whose faiths include Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism."