Hong Kong – A debate raging over the morals of Hong Kong’s racy media took a bizarre twist Wednesday with revelations that a decency watchdog had been flooded with obscenity complaints about the Bible.
The Television and Entertainments Licensing Authority (Tela), which oversees the publishing industry, said it had received 208 complaints that text within the holy book was indecent.
“I can confirm that the complaints were received,” said a Tela spokesperson. “The thrust of the complaints was that the Bible was obscene, that different parts of the Bible were offensive to readers.”
Tela refused to divulge details of the complaints, but local media reported that they referred to acts of violence, rape and cannibalism reputedly contained in the Old and New Testaments.
Reports speculated that the sudden flurry of messages sent to Tela was sparked by a Chinese-language website www.truthbible.com, which had exhorted readers to pressure Tela to reclassify the Bible as an indecent publication.
The news comes amid a row in Hong Kong over the classification as indecent of a sex survey in a student journal which questioned respondents on bestiality and incest.
The Obscene Articles Tribunal issued the ruling on Chinese University publication “CU Student Press”, sparking angry calls from students that authorities were eroding freedom of speech in the southern Chinese city.