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Greek gay Jesus play faces 'blasphemy' charges

Makers of Athens play Corpus Christi could be jailed for depicting Jesus and the Apostles as gay
Production of Corpus Christi in Athens was marred by violent protests when it opened in October

A Greek play which depicts Jesus and the Apostles as gay faces blasphemy charges.

Written by American playwright Terrence McNally in 1998, a production of Corpus Christi in Athens was forced to close this month after it was dogged by religious and neo-Nazi protests.

The play's actors, director and producer now face charges of 'insulting religion' and 'malicious blasphemy', following a lawsuit by Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus.

If found guilty, those involved in the production could face several months in prison.

Director Laertis Vasiliou told Reuters he is baffled that prosecutors would chose to pursue this case instead of bringing those responsible for Greece's crumbling economy to justice.

He said: 'What I see is that there are people who have robbed the country blind who are not in jail and the prosecutor turns against art.'

However, a trial date has yet to be announced.

The premiere of the play on 11 October was marred by violent protests by extreme right-wing group Golden Dawn.

Police detained 30 people, who as well as blocking entry to the venue, also reportedly beat their opposition while officers had their backs turned.

Athens has seen a worrying increase in violence against the LGBT community, with the Network for Recording Incidents of Racist Violence claiming gay people are the 'new Jews in Greece'.

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