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Iranian censors approve screening of 'Passion'

Film to be shown despite objections from Sunni minority
/ Source: The Associated Press

Iran’s censors have approved the screening of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” in the Persian state’s movie theaters, the official news agency reported Wednesday.

A committee of clerics and officials within Iran’s Islamic Cultural and Guidance Ministry unanimously decided Tuesday to let the film be played in its entirety, with Persian language subtitles, the agency said.

The state-owned Farabi Cinema Foundation, which is in charge of foreign movies, bought a copy of Gibson’s controversial film in February and has negotiated with theater owners to screen it in May, the agency added.

Iran, a predominantly Shiite Muslim state, is allowing the screening of the film despite strong Islamic objections, particularly from Sunni Muslims, to the depiction of religious prophets in any form.

Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and several other Islamic countries have already approved the screening of Gibson’s film.