Lebanon Bans "The Da Vinci Code" Over Fears of Anti-Christian Sentiments

October 17, 2004

Source: The Washington Post


On October 17, 2004 The Washington Post reported, "Few places seem to indicate how far this country has come from civil war better than the sunny hipness of the Virgin Megastore that fills a blond-stone building in the heart of the new Beirut... But there is a hole in the megastore's inventory that suggests the war's legacy has not entirely faded. The store's 60,000 books and magazines include Playboy, 'The Photographic Kama Sutra' and an array of French paperbacks whose titles alone would make much of Middle America blush. But 'The Da Vinci Code,' the most popular work of American fiction during the past 18 months, is not available. The international blockbuster was pulled from shelves last month by Lebanon's domestic security agency at the request of the Catholic Church. Church leaders claimed the murder mystery's use of controversial theories regarding the life of Jesus defamed Christianity and warned that it could ignite Lebanon's old sectarian tensions in the process. In doing so, a country celebrated as the most progressive in the Middle East became the only one in the world to forbid the book, according to the book's agent and publishers in the region."