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Russian 'Jesus Christ Superstar' scrubbed

Sept. 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM   |   Comments

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Russian prosecutors said they will review an order blocking a performance of "Jesus Christ Superstar" due to complaints it might offend religious sentiment.

The performance had been scheduled at the Rock Opera theater in Rostov-on-Don next month but was delayed by an appeal by 18 residents of the city.

The decision could be reversed by prosecutors, who planned to take another look at the case next week.

Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said the appeal was based on a bill that criminalizes offending religious sentiment, and the 18 Rostov residents said the rock opera had not been approved by church leaders and "misinterpreted" the character of Jesus.

"You can't say that an opera strengthens faith," said one of the petitioners, who declined to be identified. "A true believer would have attended a mass instead of a play."

RIA Novosti said "Jesus Christ Superstar" has been staged frequently in Russia without incident, including four times at the Rock Opera.

Fundamentalist Christian activism has been on the rise, and resulted in "Superstar" being canceled in Belarus in February, the report said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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