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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 12:13 GMT
Church screens Life of Brian film
The controversial Monty Python film Life of Brian is being screened in a church on Tyneside.

Some condemned the 1979 film as blasphemous, because of its story of a Jewish man who is worshipped as the Messiah and then crucified.

Now the Anglican St Thomas the Martyr church in Newcastle is due to screen the film on Friday as part of a project with the independent Tyneside Cinema.

The Reverend Jonathan Adams said he had the backing of his congregation.

Religious faith

When first released, some religious groups picketed cinemas which screened the film, claiming it poked fun at the story of Christ.

The Friday screening of the film at St Thomas the Martyr will feature an organ accompaniment and provision of song sheets.

Rev Adams said: "Jesus of Nazareth is not some sort of hot house plant that we need to protect from criticism and scrutiny.

"Actually I don't think the film does that. But it does poke fun at some of the stupidity and hypocrisies of people who profess religious faith.

"The Church is really in trouble if it does not pay attention to that sort of questioning."

The Monty Python team always insisted the film was intended as a spoof on Bible films and intolerance, rather than of Christianity.

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