Hong Kong's media decency watchdog defended the Bible against an onslaught of over 2,000 complaints about its sexual and violent content, including rape and incest, late on Thursday.
The country's Television and Licensing Authority (TELA) refused to submit the Bible to the Obscene Articles Tribunal for reclassification as an "indecent" publication despite receiving some 2,041 complaints by Hong Kong citizens this week, according to Reuters.
"The Bible is a religious text which is part of civilization. It has been passed from generation to generation," announced TELA in an issued statement.
It is thought that an anonymous Chinese website, www.truthbible.net, had sparked readers to file complaints against the Bible. The website accused the Bible of "[making] one tremble" from its sexual and violent content and urged readers to file complaints to TELA to reclassify the Bible as an indecent publication.
Furthermore, the website complained the Bible's sexual content "far exceeds" that of a recent university sex column which was labeled "indecent." The column had asked readers if they had ever fantasized about bestiality or incest.
The "indecent" survey has caused uproar of debate with supporters of the column protesting infringement of freedom of speech while the opposition defended upholding social morality.
If the Bible had been reclassified as "indecent," it would have been forced to be wrapped in a statutory warning notice and minors under 18 would not be able to purchase a copy of the Scripture.
But TELA concluded that the Bible "had not violated standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable members of the community."
Christians are the minority in Hong Kong, composing only about 10 percent of the country's 7 million people, according to the CIA World Factbook.