The Passion of the Christ stirs many–mission groups hope to evangelism.

By February 24, 2004

USA (MNN)–On the first day of the Lenten season, “The Passion of the Christ” begins showing in movie theatres across the United States. Filmmaker Mel Gibson says the piece was meant to make viewers realize the extent of Christ’s sacrifice.

The release is also stirring fervor among mission agencies. Conservative Christians leaders see Gibson’s film as a way to evangelize the vast mainstream crowds once “Passion” opens in 2,800 U.S. theaters.

Global Advance Ministries’ Marc Rylander agrees that the movie will likely re-ignite a fire not only in the United States, but also around the world. “This movie is a visual powerful effective tool that I believe will lead hundreds of thousands if not millions of people back to the cross of Christ.”

The movie depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life. It does not, however, end with a ‘call to Christ’. For viewers, that leaves a gap between “I would love to know more!’ and ‘What now?’

Rylander commends the many groups that are planning evangelistic programs, and discipleship campaigns. He says the window is open now. “We better take advantage of it quick. Like 9-11, it happened, and then the church kind of moved in. But, where are those folks today? I believe that God has given us another opportunity, ‘Here you go, Here’s something amazing for your culture, and for the cultures of the world.”

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