Iran has banned the best-selling novel
The Da Vinci Code
after receiving a protest letter from Christians, Iranian newspapers reported on Wednesday.
"After receiving the letter of protest from religious Christians, the culture ministry decided to cancel the authority given for publication of this book," Mohammad Reza Vasfi, a ministry official, told the daily Etemad.
According to the newspaper, some 30,000 copies of the book have already been distributed in the country and the book was in its eighth edition before the decision to ban it.
The controversial book by author Dan Brown, which has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, supports the thesis according to which Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child whose descendants are alive today -- a claim which the book says the Church has tried to smother for two millennia.
The Catholic Church has harshly denounced the book which has been boycotted by certain religious groups.
Iranians, however, can still buy videos or DVDs of the film version on the black market, the usual way in which Western films circulate in the country.