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Catholics protest release of two films

The Catholic Secular Forum has called for a fast undo death to protest the release of Da Vinci Code.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 17:39 IST

A Catholic group Tuesday called on Christians to starve themselves to death in protest at the release of The Da Vinci Code at cinemas in India as others burned copies of the novel.

The Catholic Secular Forum said it hoped thousand of people would attend a protest Wednesday in Mumbai to burn effigies of Dan Brown, the author of the best-selling novel.

"It's to show the extent that our feelings have been hurt," said the group's general secretary Joseph Dias, speaking of the "fast unto death" call if the government fails to take action.

He denied 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.

For Da Vinci Code, it's just been one controversy after another, whether about the book or the film

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.

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

The controversial film stars Tom Hanks and is based on Brown's best-selling novel. It explores the idea that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and had children whose descendants are alive today.

Christian churches have condemned The Da Vinci Code as an attack on their faith and an aide of Pope Benedict XVI has called it a "perversely anti-Christian novel."

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

The Catholic group also called for a second film, Tickle My Funny Bone, to be banned saying it told the story of a "sexy nun," according to reports.

First Published: May 10, 2006 17:39 IST