(from the AFP, 12/8.)

Dozens of Catholics picketed a top Paris theatre Thursday while thousands more held a prayer vigil in protest at a play attacking consumer culture and religion and featuring gory pseudo-crucifixion scenes.

"Golgota Picnic" by Argentinian director Rodrigo Garcia, opened Thursday at the Theatre du Rond Point on the Champs Elysees after a run in the southwestern city of Toulouse, where it drew protests and charges of "Christianophobia".

Some 160 Catholics gathered outside, laying white roses on the ground, under the watch of some 800 police officers mobilised for the occasion.

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