Faith Driven Consumer™ -- the group behind the recent IStandWithPhil.com movement that played a large role in Phil Robertson's return to Duck Dynasty, is tracking the commercial viability of major Hollywood films courting faith audiences. In 2014, the Year of the Bible Movie, studios are targeting 46 million Faith Driven Consumers who spend $1.75 trillion annually. While recent films such as SON OF GOD and GOD'S NOT DEAD are exceeding expectations at the US box office, the organization finds that NOAH has underperformed its opening weekend relative to its potential with a faith-based audience.
Divergent may have been the No. 1 movie at the box office this past weekend, but the movie everyone is talking about is the independent faith-based movie God's Not Dead.
Pulling in $8.5 million on the first weekend and amassing an impressive $10,979 per-screen average, the movie stands as further proof of the desire to see faith-affirming movies on the big screen.
God's Not Dead is a movie about Josh Wheaton, a freshman college student who is forced to defend his Christian faith against an angry philosophy professor. Starring Kevin Sorbo as the atheist professor, David A.R. White as a priest who encourages Josh and guest appearances by Duck Dynasty stars Willie and Korie Robertson, the movie also ends with a performance from the Newsboys as they perform their song "God’s Not Dead."
Freestyle Releasing co-president Mark Borde, who distributed the Pure Flix Entertainment movie, states, “While this huge opening may be a surprise to the industry, it is not so much to us. The in-house tracking, the legitimate 1 million Facebook fans, the very high trending on Twitter and Fandango among many other platforms, and the huge positive reaction from the hundreds of screenings over the many past months, gave us hope for a significant opening.”
With Son of God already pulling in $55 million domestically and several other-faith based films slated for the next month, including Noah and Heaven Is for Real, it seems quite clear that more than ever, God is working in the hearts and minds of Americans through the medium of movies.
Click here to read Movieguide's review of God's Not Dead.
Pope Francis has signaled that the Catholic Church may tolerate some forms of same-sex civil unions, though he affirmed the Church’s opposition to gay marriage.
According to a translation by Catholic News Service, the pope said in an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that “matrimony is between a man and a woman” but that moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation [are] driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.”
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike came to the United States in 2008 seeking political asylum. They fled their German homeland in the face of religious persecution for home schooling their children.
They wanted to live in a country where they could raise their children in accordance with their Christian beliefs.
The Romeikes were initially given asylum, but the Obama administration objected, claiming that German laws that outlaw home schooling do not constitute persecution.
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked villages and a town in the Madagali and Michika Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Adamawa State in north east Nigeria on 26 February.
Exact casualty figures are as yet unknown, since many people are reported to still be in hiding in the bush. However, unconfirmed reports indicate that at least 28 people may have been killed and several others were injured.
Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced Thursday that a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the Ark Encounter project, estimated to cost about $73 million. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016.
Ham said a high-profile evolution debate he had with "Science Guy" Bill Nye on Feb. 4 helped boost support for the project.
A Baptist preacher has been elected as Ukraine's interim president, prompting calls for Christians to pray for the beleaguered nation and its new leader.
New interim president Oleksandr Turchynov was the right-hand man of Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister imprisoned by Viktor Yanukovych when Yanukovych became president in 2010. The former prime minister was released immediately following Yanukovych's removal from office Feb. 23, an ousting that came on the heels of a three-month-long protest movement in Kiev, the nation's capital.
Bomb attacks on the island of Zanzibar targeted Christ Church Anglican Cathedral and a well-known restaurant on 24 February, and an Evangelistic Assemblies of God Tanzania (EAGT) church on 25 February.
Two bombs were detonated at the main entrance of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral and the Former Slave Market in the centre of Stone Town at around 1pm on 24 February. Another bomb exploded at Mercury's, a restaurant named after (Freddie Mercury) the late lead singer of the rock group Queen who was born in Zanzibar. According to eyewitnesses, the bomb at the Cathedral consisted of dynamite and was detonated remotely.
On 23 February, a homemade bomb reportedly containing a mixture of ball bearings and chemicals was detonated at an EAGT Church. The bomb exploded as the church service was coming to a close, shaking the building and causing alarm amongst the congregation. It is unclear whether anyone was injured or to what extent the church building was damaged.
Pastor Rick and Kay Warren of Saddleback Church, the Most Reverend Kevin Vann, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Orange County (NAMI-OC) are joining together to host The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church on March 28 at Saddleback Church in Southern California.
Open to everyone, The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church is designed to encourage individuals living with mental illness, educate family members, and equip church leaders to provide effective and compassionate care to any who face the challenges of mental illness.
An interfaith delegation from Indonesia, co-hosted by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, has begun a week of advocacy in the UK to coincide with this week’s launch of CSW’s new report in Indonesia.
The delegation will testify at a hearing to launch the report, Indonesia: Pluralism in Peril – The rise of religious intolerance across the archipelago, on 25 February at the House of Commons.
Associate Pastor with The Bridge Community of Faith in Kelowna BC Canada.