I see the Catholic Church as a conservative institution, retrograde, coming from another era and still living there. I feel like sometimes they can’t accept all the changes in society and can’t approve something that is not coming from the Church. That’s why ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ was (and in some countries still being) so controversial, unnecessary.
The creators of the musical had so many problems to create the show. No one wanted to produce a musical about Jesus Christ, that’s why Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice decided to create first a soundtrack; an album that could be listened on its own and you could also understand the story. But it was a difficult journey, because it was banned from the BBC for being considered “sacrilegious”.
Finally, when it was produced on stage, first as a concert, lots of religious people complaint about the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus, with some sexual content (I honestly can’t see it). Apparently, some religious groups feel offended their religious sentiments. In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic the show was banned after being produced in Lithuania.
But this isn’t only in the past. In 2012, some Russian religious activists successfully prohibited the performances of the musical for the same reason: the relationship between Jesus, Mary and Judas is not like the Bible, and is not good for them to see Jesus Christ as a human, ignoring that he is a divinity too. But this situation has been produced in many countries around the world.
Today, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is still banned in South Africa, for being considered irreligious. Some religious groups prepare boycotts every time a new production of the show is released in United States. These situations are better for the show, because it’s like a promotion. Some people will have curiosity to know what’s the show about after lot of people complaining.
Has the show ever been prohibited in your country?