Samoa bans the Da Vinci Code

Samoa has banned The Da Vinci Code after church leaders frowned on the film about a fictional Catholic conspiracy.

Samoa’s principal censor banned the Ron Howard movie based on the best-selling Dan Brown novel from cinema, DVD and video rental and television broadcast, Radio New Zealand International reported.

The decision was made after leaders of the Samoa Council of Churches watched a weekend preview of the Da Vinci Code in the country’s only cinema at the government’s invitation.

The Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Samoa, Alapati Mataeliga, said the film would affect the beliefs of young people whose faith was not strong.

Magik cinema owner Rudolf Keil told the broadcaster the ban breached Samoans’ human rights.

The Da Vinci Code

So error-laden is The Da Vinci Code that the educated reader actually applauds those rare occasions where Brown stumbles (despite himself) into the truth. […] In the end, Dan Brown has penned a poorly written, atrociously researched mess.
Source: Dismantling The Da Vinci Code By Sandra Miesel, Crisis, Sep. 1, 2003

The censor said his decision was made according to Samoa’s constitution and amendments to nation’s film act.

Samoa has been staunchly Christian since missionaries arrived in the 19th century and has a reputation for being the Bible belt of the Pacific.

A Catholic organisation in neighbouring Fiji has called for a similar ban on The Da Vinci Code, which is screening at a cinema in the capital Suva.

“I question the wisdom in approving this movie, given the widespread criticisms it attracted worldwide,” Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights Movement spokesman Kelepi Lesi said.

“The movie undermines the very heart of the Christian belief and the Film Censor Board, in giving the green light for public screening, confirms it’s insensitive to our culture,” Lesi told the Fiji Sun.

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AAP, via the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
May 22, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday May 22, 2006.
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