(By Samuel Smith, Christian Post). A new film produced by Roma Downey highlights at least a dozen first-hand accounts of how Christians are being brutally killed, raped, beaten and imprisoned for their faith in the birthplace of Christianity.
On May 23, the film “Faithkeepers” will be screened by churches nationwide in hopes that it will increase awareness among American Christians about the reality of what is happening to their brothers and sisters in the Middle East.
The film details the level of persecution that Christians in nations like Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Iran are facing. Although the film’s release comes long after the Islamic State terrorist group took over swaths of territory in the summer of 2014 and began committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, producer Paula Kweskin told The Christian Post on Tuesday that the filmmaking process began before IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) rose to prominence.
“We started to research and were planning to talk about how Christians in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran are struggling all the time and then in the midst of production, all of sudden, things got worse. I mean, much, much worse,” Kweskin, who is also a human rights lawyer with background in international law, explained. “Eventually, what was happening to Christians over the last few years because of ISIS can be called a genocide. We certainly never expected for things to get as bad as they did.”
Kweskin told CP that the film features at least a dozen Christians from the Middle East detailing their families’ own stories of persecution. Additionally, the film features remarks from leading religious freedom advocates, such as former United States Congressman Frank Wolf, and experts such as Juliana Taimoorazy, founder of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council.
“When we first started interviewing folks, especially in Iraq and Syria, we were asking them to tell us about the recent violence. They said, ‘I can tell you about this recent violence but I am going to have to tell you about how my parents were persecuted and my grandparents and my great grandparents and my great, great grandparents,'” Kweskin said. “It’s a lineage and heritage of persecution. I think it is almost miraculous that there are any Christians left in the Middle East.”
On The Reconnect with Carmen LaBerge: Listen as Carmen talks with Juliana Taimoorazy, Founder of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council and Senior Fellow at Philos Project. She provided an update on Christians who are now returning to their homelands and what they face in the aftermath of ISIS’s destruction. The incredible story of Christians persevering and suffering under intense persecution in the Middle East will be beautifully told in a new movie: Faithkeepers.