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Fanatical Christians and members of Golden Dawn against a play

12 October 2012 / 15:10:34  GRReporter
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A first performance of a play, which never took place, sparked clashes, tear gas and manifestations of obscurantism in the centre of Athens.
About 300 members of para-religious groups involving monks gathered last night in front of Hitirio Theatre in Iera Odos Street to protest against the play entitled "Corpus Christi" ("Body of Christ"). In their opinion, the play humiliates Jesus and his apostles.
They began to shout slogans against the viewers who wanted to watch the play. They were singing psalms and cried, "Greece means Orthodoxy" and that their leader was "Jesus of Nazareth, not the Jewish Antichrist." A little later, at least four detachments of riot forces came to the theatre and pushed back the protesters.
Members of Golden Dawn including the deputies Elias Panagiotaros, Yiorgios Germenis, Christos Pappas took part in the protest.
The police arrested four people. At the same time, videos taken by witnesses show how Christos Pappas pulled out of the hands of two police officers one of those arrested by saying, "Leave the man alone." The fact that the police did not react caused negative responses.

Video source:

SYRIZA’s deputy, and a writer, Petros Tatsopoulos, who was one of those viewers who wanted to watch the play, said that members of Golden Dawn had broken and locked the door of the theatre to prevent the audience from going inside it.
According to information posted on the social network Twitter, a journalist who was trying to shoot how the angry crowd was tearing the posters of the play, was the victim of assault.
The performance never took place and the street in front of the theatre remained blocked for more than five hours. In statements to Vima Radio, director Laertis Vassiliou said that there were threats to his life, "Threatening slogans could be heard constantly in front of the theatre. I want to leave this country. I no longer feel any sense of security here."
He added, "Today, they've decided to muzzle the freedom of conscience and speech in the country that gave birth to the theatre. There are viewers who want to watch the play and I do not understand why they are not letting them watch it. If they themselves do not want to, they will not watch it."
The director said all the attacks and the participants in them were recorded. The following video shows how deputy Ilias Panagiotaros is making extremely cynical insults to the actors, threatening them, "your turn will come too."

The protesters left the theatre late, standing in the way of every viewer who wanted to watch the play. "We want the police to help us to do our job and to allow the audience to enter the theatre," the organizer of the play Vasia Panagopoulou said.
The "Corpus Christi" play had angered fanatical believers a week ago too. Then, they managed to prevent the first performance of the play in a similar way after justice rejected their legal claims.
American playwright Terrence McNally wrote the play in 1997. A year later, it was performed in a New York theatre. It presents Jesus and the apostles as gay men living in modern Texas. Judas betrays Christ out of sexual jealousy and he himself administers the gay marriage between two apostles.


Tags: SocietyTheatrePara-religious groupsCorpus Christi playGolden DawnPoliceClashes
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