While The Beatles inspired their fair share of controversy and censorship attempts through their music and their album covers (like the original "butcher cover" for Yesterday and Today), their biggest scandal was sparked by a quote from an article, and a misconstrued one at that.
In 1966, John Lennon told the London Evening Standard that "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."
Through reprints and misinterpretation, this line somehow morphed into the infamous "The Beatles are bigger than Jesus" line. Americans weren't particularly impressed by the idea.
Tickets sales for the band's tour through the States dwindled and the Bible Belt got downright violent in opposition, with radio station-organized protests against their concerts, organized burnings of Beatles merchandise, threatening phone calls, fears of assassination attempts and even participation from the KKK. Baptists from some congregations were threatened with excommunication if they attended a Beatles show. The reaction all but ruined the band's stateside tour, and they played their last tour concert in San Francisco that same year.
In other news, Cuba lifted its ban on the Beatles last year. Maybe they're hoping for a tour stop.