GAY ACTOR: opposed


US: Christian groups have criticised an evangelical film company for casting a gay actor in a film about American missionaries in Ecuador. Chad Allen, who has campaigned for gay civil rights, plays the lead in End of the Spear, the story of a group of missionaries killed by an indigenous tribe whose families later convert the tribe to Christianity.

More than 100 pastors have signed a letter condemning Allen's casting and the film company says it has received threatening letters.

One pastor said casting Allen was like "Madonna playing the Virgin Mary".

Kevin Bauder, president of the Central Baptist seminary in Minneapolis, said: "It would probably be an overreaction to firebomb these men's houses, but what they have done is no mistake. It is a calculated strategy."