Despite allowing filming in the predominantly Muslim country, the Royal Film Commission of Jordan is asking Netflix not to stream “Messiah” in the nation.
The RFC made the announcement Monday, just days before the original series is set to debut on the streaming platform, part of which was filmed in Jordan.
“Messiah,” which stars Michelle Monaghan as a CIA officer and Mehdi Dehbi as a mysterious spiritual leader reminiscent of Jesus, is “purely fictional,” according to the statement from RFC managing director Mohannad al-Bakri.
“The story is purely fictional and so are the characters,” he said. “Yet, the RFC deems that the content of the series could be largely perceived or interpreted as infringing on the sanctity of religion, thus possibly contravening the laws in the country.”
“Having been made aware of its content, the RFC has asked officially the management of Netflix to refrain from streaming it in Jordan,” the statement also read.
A spokesperson for Netflix told Deadline the company has not received a formal legal request to remove the series from the service in Jordan.
The new series was created by film writer Michael Petroni and is the latest project of Christian producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, known for their faith-based endeavors like “Son of God” and “The Bible.”
During an interview with AFP, Petroni conceded the new show, which imagines what it would be like if a messianic figure appeared suddenly, spreading his message rapidly through social media, is “provocative.” He did, though, say that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s offensive.
The series will begin streaming Wednesday, Jan. 1.