Anglican Australians to Release Their Own ‘Da Vinci Code’ Movie

( [email protected] ) May 03, 2006 09:51 PM EDT

The Anglican Church in Sydney will release its own ‘Da Vinci’ video in theaters to coincide with the May 19 release for the film-adaptation of bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code.

“We are not afraid of the film,” said Bishop Robert Forsyth, chairman of Anglican Media Sydney, as quoted by BBC. “We are not afraid for the film. We are not seeking to discourage people from seeing it.”

A church spokesman mentioned, in a report by BBC, that the church video would bring up the “same questions raised” in the novel by Dan Brown, but “ask how Jesus himself might respond to these claims.”

The video, which will be released in 250 theaters, was also intended to invite publicity for the church, with the goal to encourage at leas 10% of the city to become active church goers by 2012.

As the Da Vinci film’s debut nears, criticism amongst evangelical Christian groups worldwide persists.

A coalition of 60 protestant South Korean churches vowed to boycott and block the screening of the film, last April.

The same month, the U.S.-based Coral Ridge Ministries, announced that it would release a one-hour special, title “The Da Vinci Delusion,” on national television in May 13-14. The documentary, consisting of commentaries from 15 Protestant and Catholic experts, will test Dan Brown’s assertions with evidence from history and the Bible.

Catholics have not responded well the upcoming film either, as Opus Dei, an affluent Catholic group, is portrayed a blood-thirsty and power-hungry in the novel.

The Vatican has, so far, requested that a disclaimer be put in the film. The studio, Sony, nonetheless insisted the film is a work of fiction, and “not meant to criticize any group.

The film, which will stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou, is based on the Dan Brown novel, which has sold 40 million copies. The movie is due for a May 19, release in theaters worldwide.