2014 has already been a big year for faith-based movies. Persecuted — of which I had the honor of writing the novelization — is a different kind of movie. I’d call it a faith-based movie for people who don’t like faith-based movies.
Persecuted is a political thriller, a deep-probing drama, and a scathing commentary on public sentiments toward religion and religious freedom — all rolled into one. Where films like God’s Not Dead and Son of God encourage you to think about your beliefs on a personal level, Persecuted is more interested in the state of our nation. It also asks, as the title suggests, how far you’d be willing to go to hold to your convictions.
One thing’s for sure: it’s going to have people talking. In fact, it already does:
“The Movie the Faithful Want You to See” – Politico Magazine
“Persecuted: The Next Christian Film to Hit Theaters” – Newsmax
“Persecuted Not Just a Movie But a Movement” – CBN News
“New Film Persecuted Warns Against Abuse of Gov’t Power, Religious Persecution” – The Christian Post
“Persecuted film examines freedom of conscience versus the state” – Deseret News
Fred Thompson: “Is the premise of my next movie, Persecuted, really so far-fetched?” – FoxNews
As you can see from what’s been published so far, the media response is largely focusing on the movie’s political commentary. Sure, there’s political stuff in there. It wouldn’t be a “political thriller” if there wasn’t.
But to me, Persecuted is more about the plight of believers being persecuted around the world in nations hostile to their beliefs. What writer/director Daniel Lusko has so cleverly done is find a way to depict that kind of suffering in a setting that’s familiar to us: modern America. Which is pretty much the last place on earth you’d expect to see religious persecution. It’s an allegory. And a cautionary tale. Because what attracted me to the story to begin with is that it presents a scenario that’s all too believable.
Rather than hearing the opinions of people who had nothing to do with making the movie (except for Mr. Thompson, obviously), why not see what the man who made the movie has to say about it.
Persecuted opens nationwide on July 18th — and my novel hits stores on the same day. A great new trailer for the film is embedded above.