Netflix has been ordered by a judge in Brazil to immediately drop a Christmas special which graphically depicts Jesus as a gay man.
The ruling Thursday by Rio de Janeiro judge Benedicto Abicair followed a petition by a Brazilian Catholic organization that argued the “honor of millions of Catholics” was hurt by the airing of The First Temptation of Christ.
The 46-minute Christmas special portrays a 30-something Jesus bringing home his boyfriend home to meet Mary and Joseph. The Portuguese-language production, which debuted worldwide on Netflix last month, comes from the Brazilian comedy group Porta dos Fundos (literally, “Back Door”).
The Rio-based film company had its headquarters targeted by protests in a Christmas Eve demonstration.
Upwards of two million people signed the petition calling for the production to be axed, as Breitbart News reported.
In the ruling against Netflix, the judge said: “The right to freedom of expression… is not absolute” however the ban is only temporary while a final decision is made.
Netflix faced major opposition to the film, with figures such as the Catholic bishop of Tyler, Texas, denouncing the show as blasphemous.
“Respect is the last thing they are thinking about, every Christian should denounce this film, it is blasphemy against the Son of God who suffered & died even for all who deny that He is Lord of the Universe,” said Bishop Joseph Strickland in a tweet. “His prayer for them…. ‘Father forgive them they know not what they do.’”
“Just cancelled Netflix,” the bishop tweeted a little later. “Hardly have time to watch it anyway but blasphemers don’t deserve a penny of support!”
Graham Allen, the host of the popular “Dear America Podcast,” similarly condemned the film, arguing “Jesus isn’t some ‘woke’ culture experiment for you to convince young people that biblical teachings are ‘debatable’?!”
The Brazilian Catholic bishops conference released its own statement condemning the show, saying the Christmas special “profoundly assault[s] the Christian faith.”
Neither Netflix nor Porta dos Fundos has yet commented.