The Brazilian Portuguese-language special, A Primeira Tentação de Cristo (The First Temptation of Christ), ignited controversy since it first aired over the Christmas season. Conservative Christians gathered over 2 million signatures that called for Netflix to remove the movie from its library; offices of the film's producers were even fire-bombed on Christmas Eve, with one of the attackers later fleeing to Russia.
Brazil's Centro Don Mosco Association of Faith and Culture had requested that a judge order the special to be taken down, but that was initially denied in court. An appeals judge, however, ruled this week that suspension of streaming the episode was beneficial “not only for the Christian community, but for the mostly Christian Brazilian society.”
The judge also noted in the order that suspending the episode would prevent more serious and irreparable damage within Brazil than it would cause economic hardship for Netflix or show producers, especially as the Christmas season, when the show would attract the highest viewership, has already passed.
The case was quickly appealed to Brazil's Supreme Court, which overturned the lower court decision.
"One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith, whose existence is traced back more than two thousand years, and which is the belief of the majority of Brazilian citizens," Supreme Court president Dias Toffoli said Thursday.
In the film, Jesus (played by Gregory Duvivier) brings home a male love interest to meet his parents for the holidays. It is a special episode of comedy sketch show Porta Dos Fundo, or The Back Door.