Greek hierarchs file complaints against local production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”
February 22, 2018. Two hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church have called for legal action against a currently running production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Athens, citing the constitutionally-guaranteed position of the Orthodox Church in Greece and the blasphemous depiction of Jesus Christ in the theatrical show.
His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus has filed a motion with the prosecutor’s office against all responsible for the production, due to “the perpetration of criminal acts of which I have recently become aware, and which have been repeatedly and continuously executed by the producers and actors of the theatrical performance that began on February 9 … with the title ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’”
He writes that he was informed of the performance by the letter of a concerned Orthodox woman.
The show “includes acts and expressions of mockery and offensive phrases against our Lord Jesus Christ and generally against the official, constitutionally-guaranteed religion of our country, the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ,” the metropolitan writes.
More specifically, he notes that Christ is depicted as a sinful, insecure, and narcissistic hippie, and as having had a relationship with St. Mary Magdalene, and that the performance lacks respect for the Divine, using mocking, insulting, and vulgar expressions against God in light of what is considered sacred in the Orthodox Church. His Eminence therefore calls for the performance to be immediately stopped.
His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira has also spoken out against the blasphemous production, also calling for an immediate end to its run. He noted that the show violates Articles 198 and 199 of the penal code, for malicious blasphemy.
Met. Seraphim placed a call to the prosecutor’s office on Friday morning, calling for the prosecutor’s office to take any action necessary to put an immediate end to the show. The metropolitan then filed an official complaint on Friday night. His filing raised many of the same issues as that of Met. Seraphim of Piraeus.
The Greek Union for Human Rights has responded that the metropolitans’ motions are unnecessary, and blamed the bishops for causing social unrest, rather “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Meanwhile, faithful Orthodox Christians had appeared outside of Athens’ Acropolis Theater several days earlier to protest the blasphemous production, holding icons and banners testifying that Jesus Christ is not a sinner.
Concerned Orthodox Christians also gathered outside a Thessaloniki theater in October to protest the sacrilegious play “The Hour of the Devil.”