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Controversial Jesus Show Pulled From Lebanese TV

Two Shiite Muslim television stations in Lebanon canceled a controversial program about Jesus on Friday after protests from the nation's Christian clergy.

The 17-episode program was produced in Iran. It describes Jesus from an Islamic point of view. The Koran teaches Jesus was a prophet and a teacher but not the son of God.

Al-Manar, a television station run by Lebanon's powerful militant group Hezbollah, and the National Broadcasting Network started airing the program on Tuesday. It coincided with the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Lebanese Christian leaders protested the airing of the show, saying it conflicts with Biblical teachings and fuels religious fervor.

On Friday, the stations relented saying they do not want to stir up sectarian conflict in the country.

The debate has particular resonance in Lebanon, an Arab nation of 4 million people with a history of sectarian strife. The country's population is divided into 18 sects, including Sunni and Shiite Muslims, Christians and Druze.

Al-Manar and NBN issued a statement saying the program "shows the great personality of God's prophet Jesus, the son of Mary, peace be upon him." But, the statement said, the stations decided to stop airing the program in respect to other Lebanese sects.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.