A film which depicts Jesus as gay has received more complaints this year, despite not even existing.
According to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), persistent rumors have been circulating that controversial American play Corpus Christi has been made into a movie.
The play which portrays Jesus and the Apostles as gay was dogged by religious and neo-Nazi protests in Athens this year and was forced to close last month.
BBFC senior examiner Craig Lapper said: ‘I think it was a bit of an internet hoax several years ago, suggesting a film was being made of the play in which Jesus and his disciples were portrayed as homosexuals.
‘I can remember replying to people concerned about this blasphemous film back in the late 1990s.
‘This year again, for whatever reason, there was another spike in people writing to us to insist that we ban this terrible, blasphemous film.
‘We just had to write back and say "This film doesn’t exist".’
The BBCFC reported receiving six complaints about the imaginary film in 2011 and two this year, with most calling for it to be banned for blasphemy.
The Christmas advert at St Matthew-in-the-City in Auckland depicts baby Jesus in his manger with a rainbow halo and the words: ‘It’s Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out.’
Some scholars have upset Christians before by suggesting Jesus was gay. While others angered the church by claiming he had a relationship with Mary Magdelene, inspiring US novelist Dan Brown to write his bestseller The Da Vinci Code.