The Chinese Communist Party Banned “The Da Vinci Code”

June 11, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: June 11, 2006 12:00 am

The controversial movie “The Da Vinci Code” that has created a box-office value of US $3.8 billion is now banned in mainland China. The Chinese authorities have issued an order that forbids all the movie theaters to show “The Da Vinci Code” starting June 9. Some well-informed sources revealed that the movie touched sensitive political issues in Beijing and triggered the Catholics' demonstration, and that the Chinese authorities put a ban on it to avoid any potential social unrest. It was also done to make way for the films dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

According to the report from Hong Kong's Apple Daily on June 9, the Chinese authorities' banning of “The Da Vinci Code” was more of a political decision than a commercial consideration. Some well-informed sources from the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television said that after the movie had been shown for more than one week, tens of old Catholics protested against it in the street in Handan City, Hebei Province, while there were sporadic demonstrations in other areas too.

The report pointed out that the CCP did not pay any attention to the demonstrations in the beginning. The Central Propaganda Department even ran the “The Da Vinci Code” advertising before the show started; the CCTV-1 channel also made special programs to introduce the movie plot. But as the demonstrations went on, the governmental departments concerned realized that political stability far outweighed anything else and decided to ban the movie to avoid possible chaos in society.

According to official Chinese sources, in mainland China, there are 20 million Christians and 4 million Catholics. In accord with the estimates of foreign institutes, however, there are approximately 60 million to 80 million Christians and 12 million Catholics in China. The movie “The Da Vinci Code” could ignite this political landmine regarding religious issues. The Beijing authorities certainly wouldn't take any risk.

Another political consideration could be that multiple films dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the CCP would be released around July 1, which is approaching. Therefore, “The Da Vinci Code” had to be banned to make way for those “greeting” films, the report said.