Countries To Ban “Noah” Over Religious Concerns; Pope Francis Gave Vatican’s Blessings

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By Jenille Cristy Maido | March 25, 2014 3:28 PM EST

The film "Noah" starring Russell Crowe for the lead role will not show in some Islamic countries after being rejected by Muslim board censorships.

Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, and Indonesia along Jordan and Kuwait will not allow the film to infiltrate in their cinemas for religious reasons. Islamic countries prohibit showing prophetical portrayals like "Noah" because of the belief that it could provoke emotional responses, and that it violates the Islamic law. In Islam, depictions of prophets is unacceptable for it may encourage "person-worship" rather than God.

Paramount invested $130 million for the film's production with Hollywood's big names at the helm. Aside from Russell Crowe, "Noah" stars Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson under the direction of the award-winning director Darren Aronofsky.

As the ban of "Noah" continue to expand on the Arab world, it raises questions whether the producers will be able to get the expected return of investments from the film considering the amount Paramount gambled to make an epic blockbuster. However, it also raises positive responses and receiving strong support from the Christian viewers especially that the Vatican already gave its blessing for the movie.

Recently, Russell Crowe was able to have a brief meeting with Pope Francis and was reportedly given blessing for "Noah." The actor is very thankful for the opportunity to meet the Pontiff following two failed attempts to discuss the Bible-inspired film.

"Given the amount of controversy surrounding this film, and has been surrounding it for a year now, the fact we were invited to the Vatican was extremely kind," said Crowe in a DailyMail UK report.

Despite the controversies, Crowe continue to promote the film internationally. He also shared that the banning of the film is not surprising considering that "is a tenet of the Muslim religion that you can't make stories or render images about the Prophet." With his statement, Crowe obviously respects the religion, but is increasing his efforts to encourage the audiences that the movie is a much watch.

"Noah" remains to be flooded with mixed responses from critics. As of this writing, it has 76% rating from Rotten Tomatoes with 97% from the audience wanted to see the film. In a Time's Magazine report, religious leaders are said to support "Noah" though the film is not biblically accurate.

With all the criticisms regarding the film, "Noah" may be one of 2014's top grossing films. It is set to be released in North American cinemas in March 28, 2014 and will show in Australia, March 27.

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