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Russian Protestants say South Park corrupts youth, urge ban

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MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Union of Evangelical Christians said on Thursday it had requested Russian prosecutors to open a criminal investigation against a TV channel that broadcasts the popular South Park cartoons.

The group's leader, Konstantin Bendas, urged the prosecutors to ban the popular animated comedy series on the grounds that it contains "covert and overt propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia as norms of sexual life."

He added that some 20 experts in law and psychology had been involved in studying the issue.

"We have received some 15 reports by experts and they all agree that broadcasting the cartoon has a negative impact on viewers, especially on children and teenagers," he said.

The Russian adult-oriented cartoon network "2x2" which airs the show, faced similar accusations in March 2008, when Russian Protestant leaders submitted a request to the Prosecutor General's Office asking for the channel's license to be revoked, saying it "promotes immorality and violence."

In February 2008, Rossvyazokhrankultura, a regulatory body for television in Russia, issued warnings to the channel about the 'Happy Tree Friends' and 'The Adventures of Big Jeff' cartoon series, recommending that they remove them from the air to avoid legal issues.

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