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Last Updated: Wednesday December 08 2004 15:42 GMT

God axed from Dark Materials film

Philip Pullman with his book The Amber Spyglass
References to the character of God have been cut from the film version of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials.

Director and screen writer Chris Weitz said the changes to the original story were made after fears the films could appear to be anti-religion.

"They (the film studio) have expressed worry about the possibility of perceived anti-religiosity," Weitz told a His Dark Materials fans' website.

The book trilogy tells of a battle against the church and God.

Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass tell the tale of a girl called Lyra Belacqua who lives in Oxford.

She gets involved in a battle against the Church, which has been carrying out experiments on children.

Through the stories, the aim becomes to overthrow the Authority, which is a church-like organisation in the books.

Chris Weitz's agent told the Times newspaper that Pullman was happy with the adaptation

Help understand

Previously The Catholic Herald said Pullman's books were "fit for the bonfire".

But the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, head of the Anglican Church, said the books could help kids understand what faith really is and called for them to be included in RE lessons.

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