A far-right religious group took matters into its own hands by fire-bombing the office of a production company responsible for a comedic film which depicts Jesus Christ as gay.
The comedy group, Porta dos Fundos, confirmed the attack on their Rio de Janeiro office just hours before Christmas Day, and investigators are now on the case.
Released on December 3, The First Temptation of Christ is presented as a 46-minute satirical special which sees Jesus taking home a gay lover for the holidays.
A petition racking up more than two million signatures was the first attempt at banishing the film from public consumption.
In a video making the rounds on the Internet, a group (labelling itself as the Popular Nationalist Insurgency Command of the Large Brazilian Integralist Family) wearing ski masks appears to attack the production company’s office with bottle bombs.
A digitally distorted statement criticises Netflix for streaming the film and described the production as blasphemous.
Brazil, regarded as one of the most homophobic countries, is led by an openly homophobe President, Jair Bolsonaro.
Freedom of expression
The incident comes less than seven months after Brazil’s high court officially criminalised homophobia and transphobia. Even though the country legalised same-sex marriage in 2013, attacks on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have persisted with a reported 420 LGBT people killed in Brazil in 2018.
Brazil has the world’s biggest Catholic population, and various religious groups have blasted the film for its “insensitivity towards Christians”, but the film’s creators have maintained their right to freedom of expression.
Porta dos Fundos is also behind the Emmy-winning film, The Last Hangover, which offers a satirical spin on the last supper.