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Bible spared 'indecent' classification in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's media regulator has rejected calls to reclassify the Bible as an indecent publication following more than 2,000 complaints about its sexual and violent content, including rape and incest.

"The Bible is a religious text which is part of civilization. It has been passed from generation to generation," Hong Kong's Television and Licensing Authority (TELA) said in a statement issued late on Thursday.

It said it would not submit the Bible to the Obscene Articles Tribunal for classification.

The regulator received 2,041 complaints against the Bible this week, following an uproar over a sex column in a student magazine that was classified as "indecent" by authorities for asking if readers had ever fantasized about incest or bestiality.

A Web site launched soon afterwards campaigned to have the Bible similarly classified, citing passages with sexual and violent content it claimed went beyond that of the sex column.

But TELA said in its statement the Bible "had not violated standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable members of the community".

Publications classified as indecent in Hong Kong can only be bought by people aged over 18 and must be sealed in a wrapper with a statutory warning notice.

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