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Youths in Philippines protest against Lady Gaga

- Associated Press - Saturday, May 19, 2012

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (AP) - Christian young people in the Philippines protested Saturday against upcoming concerts by Lady Gaga despite organizers' assurances that her performances would not threaten morality.

About 200 Christian youths marched in Manila for a second straight day, holding placards urging the pop singer to "respect our faith, stop the blasphemy."

The Biblemode Youth Philippines members plan to hold a vigil starting Sunday near the concert venue. They said they are offended by Lady Gaga's music, particularly her song "Judas," which they said mocks Jesus Christ.

Authorities in the conservative, majority Roman Catholic country approved the concerts, set for Monday and Tuesday, but said they won't allow nudity or lewd acts.

Sold-out crowds and angry protests have followed Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" Asian tour.

Fans younger than 18 were banned from concerts in South Korea over complaints her lyrics and costumes were too provocative, and she was denied a concert permit in Indonesia by police under pressure from Islamic hard-liners.

Riot police stopped Saturday's marchers about a kilometer (half a mile) away from the concert venue. Phalanxes of security guards stood on alert in front of the arena.

"She declared a distorted view toward Jesus Christ and for us Biblical Christians it is offensive," said Ruben Abante, a protest leader. "Her music and everything about her is different from what our values are."

Organizers from Ovation Productions said they respect the beliefs of critics but promised that the performances "will not pose a threat to their sense of morality and conduct."

Under Philippine law, people who offend race or religion can be sentenced to up to six years in prison, although no one has been convicted recently.

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