Russian city bans production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

The Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, under the weight of complaints from Orthodox Christians, has blocked a production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar has been pulled before a performance in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don following complaints from Orthodox Christians. The believers claim the production is in breach of a controversial new religious offense law…. “In our view the image of Christ presented in the opera is incorrect. If they want to stage a play about the life of the Savior, they should first clear it with the local church authority,” one of the offended believers told Life News….

The religious offense law was drafted in the wake of performance group Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer” in Moscow’s central cathedral earlier this year…. The bill calls for up to three years’ imprisonment for disrespecting religious sensibilities and is currently being discussed in the Duma.

The city’s administration has instructed the local theater to stop selling tickets for the production….

Speech must be cleared by the church authority?  That’s a scary thought.

And the religious sensibilities law, which would carry a penalty of three years in prison for offending the sensibilities of the religious (the offense of everybody else on every other subject is apparently not a subject of concern), is actually only under consideration at this point, which means the officials in Rostov-on-Don have overstepped their bounds.

Who needs the laws of man when you have your religious commands for how other people must live?

Besides, we all know that Tim Minchin is the real superstar.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • HP

    Blasphemy laws are just a ruse. The Russian Orthodox hierarchy are notorious Godspell fans.

  • Anonymous

    As an alternative, how about Jeepers Creepers Semi-Star

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrGwjgK2jrM

    • John Horstman

      Ah, one of my favorite Mr. Show sketches.

  • Alexander

    It seems that in this particular case it is not fair to speak about “ban”: looks like the management of the theater received a complain from a group of local christians so they stopped ticket sales for a few days, probably to check possible consequences and consult with lawyers, and now tickets are back on sale. http://donnews.ru/V-Rostove-vozobnovili-prodazhu-biletov-na-rok-operu-Iisus-Khristos–superzvezda_8943 (Apologies for the link in Russian, though).
    Which, of cause, does not deny the fact that we have very serious problems with lack separation of church and state in Russia, especially in the few recent years. Even without actual ban taking place the possibility of it itself is quite sad and scary.

  • John Horstman

    On the plus side, if they actually pass those laws without specifying that it’s only the Orthodox church that gets privilege, then one should be able to use the fact that there are established religions that view the teachings of the Orthodox church to be blasphemous and file charges against them on that basis. The cases won’t go anywhere, but they can expose the absurdity of the laws.

  • lokicleo

    So you know how we had to differentiate ourselves from the godless russian commies in the 50′s by putting god on our money and the pledge etc? Maybe its time to get a movement going to differentiate ourselves from the sucking-up-to-religion russians? ;-)


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