.- The Discovery Channel has announced that it will not broadcast the “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” in India after protests from various Christian groups, led by the Mumbai-based Catholic Secular Forum, the India Catholic News Service reports.
The documentary, directed by Simcha Jacobovici and produced by James Cameron, had its worldwide premier on Sunday.
Protesters said the documentary, which claims to have found the burial place of Jesus, his alleged wife, Mary Magdalene, and their son, Judas, trivializes the Christian faith.
Father Babu Joseph, the spokesman for the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, said in a statement against the film, “the documentary is not based on proven historical fact. Historically speaking, evidences closer to the event have more authenticity than evidences dished out after 2000 years. According to Biblical and non-Biblical sources, it has been believed that Jesus rose from the dead, and that is the basis of entire Christian faith and tradition.”
Numerous archeological experts, such as the internationally renowned Holy Land archeologist, Professor Amos Kloner have also criticized the documentary. Kloner, who revealed the findings of the very same dig 10 years ago, criticized the filmmakers' marketing strategy and said it is not based on proof, the Jerusalem Post reported last week.
Kloner said a similar film was released 11 years ago, and the new film, The Lost Tomb of Jesus, is simply a renewed effort to create controversy in order to make a profit.
The Discovery Channel’s Delhi office reportedly expressed regret for offending the Christian community.