More Hollywood than Gospel

Samoa censors ask clergy to rate The Passion of Christ

APIA -- The Samoan Censors Board said Tuesday it called in the island nation's leading clergy to help rate Mel Gibson's popular film The Passion of the Christ before it is released in cinemas. After it was viewed by the religious leaders, it was given given a PG13 rating, meaning children under 13 may watch the film but accompanied by their parents. Censors Board chairman Masinalupe Soa Tusipa said there were no concerns about the appropriateness of Christians viewing the movie. "That is exactly why we asked heads of churches for their help, so that the department can receive ideas of what to do," he said. The church leaders -- including the chairman of the National Council of Churches, Oka Fauolo, council secretary Fepai Kolia and Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga -- gave the opinion that viewers would come to appreciate the intense suffering Jesus Christ endured, Masinalupe said. However, Oka told the Samoa Observer there was not need for "such a gruesome film" and only 30% of the work followed gospel narrative while 70% was Hollywood fiction. -- AFP

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