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Da Vinci Code withdrawal "a commercial decision": distributor

    BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The controversial blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" was withdrawn from Chinese cinemas by its state-owned distributor on Friday, three weeks after its release here.

    The withdrawal is to make way for home-made movies releasing in the upcoming month, Weng Li, deputy manager of the exhibition and distribution arm of the China Film Group Corporation (CFGC), told Xinhua on Friday. Full story

Chinese Catholic church vows to boycott The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code (file photo)

    BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Catholic church has pledged here Thursday to call for all Chinese Catholics to launch an all-round boycott of The Da Vinci Code, accusing the Hollywood movie of violating religious ethics and morals and insulting the feelings of clergy and followers.

    The movie, based on the best-selling Dan Brown novel by the same name, has generated criticism from Christ believers for its premise that Jesus married and fathered children.

    "The movie has many details that go against the Catholic teachings or are even insulting," said Liu Bainian, vice-president of the China Patriotic Catholic Association, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Thursday.

    "The association and the Bishops Conference of the Chinese Catholic Church are considering to release a notice warning all the believers not to watch it," he said.

    Describing the movie as a "test" to the faith of the Catholics, Liu said: "the followers should consolidate their belief, abide by the instruction of the church and don't get affected by those fictional things."

    The followers should conduct more prayers, through which they may cement beliefs, dispel tempters and get more faithful to the God's teachings, he said.

    Liu urged all the Catholics to help those misguided by the movie by spreading the tenets and real spirits of the Catholic church, he said.

    The Jinde Weekly, sponsored by the China Patriotic Catholic Association's branch in north China's Hebei Province, calls the Catholics to boycott the movie in a letter published on its website.

    "On Thursday, the movie will be released globally," it warned.

    Because the movie and the novel it is based on have greatly offended the Christ faiths, it said, "We here call for all the netizens, priests and followers to resist them."

    According to Zhang Shijiang, editor-in-chief of Jinde, the movie is undoubtedly against the religious ethics. "It treats our religion in a unscientific way, dishallowing the feelings of the faithful."

    "Many people have been concerned and talking about this," he said. "The contents contained in the movie have insulted and distorted our sacred faith."

    "Such a fictional and misguiding thing should not be allowed the chance to hurt the followers' feelings," Zhang said.

    "I believe the massive Christians, Protestants and Catholics will all reach out to boycott it," he said.

    The Jinde Weekly, he said, has published a series of articles to reveal how overseas Catholics have reacted.

    "We also plan to launch a petition to the government through normal channels," he said.

    The danger of the movie, he said, is that it wears an overcoat of so-called "science" and cites confusing materials, which mix the truth with lies and blur the line between right and wrong.

    The believers, when their faith is misunderstood or questioned, should pray for early spreading of the sacred light from the God and turn to the Bible for genuine answers, he said.

    Some audience, however, did not consider the movie so harmful.

    "There is no doubt that the movie is fictional and nobody would take it as a reflection of the truth," said Li Ling, a Beijing woman who saw the movie Wednesday evening on its debut in the Chinese capital.

    "But I'm afraid the holiness of the God might be weakened," she said.

    With a shining cast and a controversial plot, the movie is expected to be a massive hit both because of the novel's worldwide sales record of over 40 million copies and protests from the Christian world.

    Xu Bing, a spokesman with the China Film Group Corporation, the movie's Chinese distributor, estimated that the movie is likely to reap over 60 million yuan (7.5 million U.S. dollars).

    The company has decided to show the movie simultaneously in big cities across the country with over 380 copies in over 30 cinema circuits. Enditem

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