Hundreds of residents have flooded Hong Kong’s media decency watchdog group with complaints against the Bible for its sexual and violent contents.
Protestors call on authorities to reclassify the Bible as “indecent,” which would make it illegal for minors under 18 years of age to purchase and would cause the Bible to be wrapped with a statutory warning notice.
As of noon on Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) said it had received 838 complaints about the Bible, according to Reuters.
“I can confirm that the complaints were received,” said a TELA spokeswoman to Agence France-Presse. “The thrust of the complaints was that the Bible was obscene, that different parts of the Bible were offensive to readers.”
TELA refused to give details of the complaints but local media say they refer to acts of violence, rape, incest and cannibalism.
The complaints are thought to have sparked from an anonymous website, www.truthbible.net, which said the Bible “made one tremble” from its sexual and violent content and had urged readers to press TELA to reclassify the Bible as an indecent publication.
Moreover, the website compared the Bible to a recent sex survey published in the Chinese University’s “Student Press” magazine, which asked readers if they ever fantasized about incest or bestiality.
The site had argued that the Bible’s sexual content “far exceeds” that of the column, which was labeled “indecent” by the Obscene Articles Tribunal.
The survey has sparked a storm of debate over social morality and freedom of speech in Hong Kong.
As for TELA, it says it is undecided on whether the Bible had violated Hong Kong’s indecent articles laws.
However, a Hong Kong protestant pastor is not too worried about the Bible’s decency status.
“If there is rape mentioned in the Bible, it doesn’t mean it encourages those activities,” said the Rev. Wu Chi-wai, according to Reuters.
“It’s just common sense … I don’t think that criticism will have strong support from the public,” he added.