The Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn have succeeded in forcing a theatre company into closing its production of Corpus Christi, which portrays Jesus Christ as a gay man.
Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi, directed by Albania-born Laertis Vasiliou, had been staged at the Hytirio theatre in central Athens for the past three weeks.
In an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Mr Panagiotaros defended his actions and said Greece is ready for a “civil war”.
Golden Dawn has been on the ascendancy since June’s election and its supporters have been linked to a significant number of attacks on migrant workers, rival political groups and LGBT citizens.
On Thursday, a statement from the play’s organisers said:
“We tried to go on with the play for three weeks. It was not possible… continuing as if nothing is happening is not a solution”.
The statement added: “It was not our intention to provoke ‘religious sentiment’ or to create tensions”.
Religious protests argued its portrayal of Jesus Christ as a gay man amounted to blasphemy.