Passion of Christ In The Arab World: Unprecedented Interest!

March 15, 2004

The Volokh Conspiracy

The film is opening in Syria and Lebanon on March 17. In Lebanon the initial run of three prints has been extended to twelve, following an unprecedented show of interest. Some observers are predicting that attendance will break all previous records in the country. Some closed-down moviehouses are looking to reopen to show the picture.

In the United Arab Emirates, the government is changing the law to allow a depiction of a prophet (Jesus, a prophet in Islam, though not the son of God) on the screen.

There is strong interest in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Egypt. Bahrain and Egypt have given assurances that the film will be shown uncut. The government of Iran has shown interest as well. The single Palestinian theater in Ramallah has requested a print for showing.

Elsewhere in the Islamic world, it may be banned in Malaysia and face censorship problems in Indonesia.

From the March 15-21 issue of Variety.