Tom Hanks has been banned from filming in Roman churches.

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The actor is currently shooting Angels and Demons – the prequel to The Da Vinci Code, the movie based on Dan Brown’s smash hit novel – with director Ron Howard, but Rome church officials have ruled they cannot stage scenes in two of the city’s places of worship.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Church said they had immediately declined the requests to film in Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria churches because the movies challenge Catholic beliefs.

Church official Monsignor Marco Fibbi said: “It’s a film that treats religious issues in a way that contrasts with common religious sentiment. We would be helping them create a work that might well be beautiful but that does not conform to our views.”

The Da Vinci Code book angered the Catholic Church when it was released as it suggested Jesus married Mary Magdalene and raised a family with her. It also claimed the Holy Grail – which is believed to be the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper – was in fact the bloodline of Jesus.

The movie’s crew have been granted permission to film the churches exteriors.