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Stir threat in Mumbai over Da Vinci movie

Churches have condemned the work and an aide of the Pope has called it a "perversely anti-Christian novel."

india Updated: May 09, 2006 20:11 IST

Protesting the release of the Da Vinci Code in theatres, a Catholic group has called on Christians to starve themselves to death if the government fails to take action.

About 100 people gathered for a protest on Tuesday and burnt pages of the book, but were prevented by police from burning an effigy of Brown, sources said.

The Catholic Secular Forum said that it hoped that thousands of people would attend the protest on Wednesday as well to burn effigies of Dan Brown, the author of the best-selling novel.

"It is to show the extent to which our feelings have been hurt," said the group's general secretary Joseph Dias.

He denied allegations that the hunger strike was irresponsible. "It's a more Christian way of doing things rather than pulling down things and tearing them up," he said.

The film, scheduled for global release on May 19, will be dubbed into four languages and will be distributed across India, a spokesman for Sony Pictures said.

The book explores the idea that Jesus Christ married a lady named Mary Magdalene and had children whose descendants are alive today.

Churches have condemned the work as an attack on their faith and an aide of the Pope has called it a "perversely anti-Christian novel."

About two per cent of India's 1.1 billion people are Christians.