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Passion Of The Christ cancelled because city authorities 'thought it was a sex show'

Oxford council has apologised for the blunder.

A Passion play in London in 2013
A Passion play in London in 2013
Image: AP/Press Association Images

A SEMINARY IN Oxford has had to cancel its Passion play depicting the crucifixion, because one local official refused to give the event permission.

“I think he thought it was a sex show,” pastor and play organiser Dick Wolff said of the council official, “so he said it may be committing an offence”.

The council official has since apologised for the blunder.

The Oxford Mail reports that the Passion of the Christ performance was first organised by St Stephen’s House theological college in 2012. It saw a man playing Jesus haul a wooden cross down the city’s Cowley Road.

However, this year the play’s organisers were told they could not perform in public without a license. They posted on the play’s website:

With great disappointment and frustration, the organisers sadly have to announce that the 2014 performance of the Cowley Road Passion Play has had to be cancelled. This is due to an intractable situation which developed with the City Council Events Planning Department and the local Police.

The statement added:

We hope that you will be able to find alternative ways to ponder the story of Christ’s passion.

Council licensing officer Julian Alison has apologised for his “wrong decision” on the event. He told the Huffington Post:

At the time of processing the application, I did not appreciate that this was a religious event. I made a mistake [...] I apologise to the organisers of the event and those members of the public who had been looking forward to the event.

Look, we had to mention it:

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Michael Freeman

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