Regular People Bring Banned Christian Book To Big Screen – Pilgrim’s Progress
When John Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress in 1678, it quickly became one of the most influential books in the world, second only to the Bible. But for hundreds of years, the story stirred up a lot of controversy because of it’s strong Christian message, and the book was banned all over the world.
The Pilgrim’s Progress tells the story of a character named Christian. The book follows Christian as he faces many temptations, threats, and dangers along his journey from "the wilderness of this world" to the glory of the Celestial City. It reflects the soul's search for salvation.
Because the book is a bold work of Christian faith, plenty opposed of the message. Some countries even banned it. Still, for hundreds of years, the book has been well-known. . . until now. These days, several generations have never heard the title, let alone the story.
And that’s exactly why a group of believers are doing all they can to revive this parable and bring its powerful Christian message to the people. Cat in the Mill Studios, run by Steve and Debra Cleary, aren’t waiting on a big movie studio to come along either, (possibly watering down the story’s Christian message to make it more appealing for the masses). They’re taking it the big screen themselves. . . with a little help from complete strangers across the globe!
Controversy Over The Pilgrim’s Progress
The powerful message contained in The Pilgrim’s Progress made it a classic among believers. The book has never been out of print, has been translated in over 200 languages and is often used as a tool for evangelism.
But not everyone loves The Pilgrim’s Progress. Its immense influence is threatening to those opposed to Christianity. Reading the book became an imprisonable offense in many countries. And in areas where communism reigns, the book is considered especially dangerous.
“Any Christian literature that's going to inspire Christians is automatically going to become hostile to a communist government,” Steve Cleary explained in an interview with God Updates. “So, I can safely say communists were going to burn any copy of The Pilgrim's Progress they would have found.”
In fact, China only recently lifted the ban on the book.
The Pilgrim’s Progress holds such an important message, it’s heartbreaking to think entire generations are missing out on the wisdom contained in its pages. It’s something that didn’t sit right at all with Steve and Debra Cleary, owners of Cat in the Mill Studios. So, they decided to do something about it.
Bringing The Pilgrim’s Progress Out Of Obscurity
The couple decided the best way to reach today’s generation was to bring the story to the big screen. It’s not the first time the story has made its way to film. In fact, the 1978 live-action version is credited with launching Liam Neeson’s career.
But Steve and Debra’s adaptation promises to be something completely new — the first-ever, CGI animated, feature-length film of The Pilgrim’s Progress!
As an animated film, the story of Christian’s journey of faith will reach children and their parents at the same time. What’s even more exciting is the transformation of how the message is being spread.
While Steve and Debra have made significant personal investments into the movie, a public fundraising campaign on the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter is behind raising money for much of the project. Why is that such a big deal?
Keep in mind, this story of faith is so powerful, entire countries spent years trying to kill it. And now, any and every believer has the opportunity to help bring it out of hiding. So far, the Kickstarter campaign has already raised more than $60,000. Spirit-led donations are what’s making this happen. How awesome is our God?!
WATCH: See the story of The Pilgrim’s Progress come to life on-screen
A Greater Calling
All who’ve signed on to help produce the movie are doing so because they feel led by God.
“This is probably the most important script I have ever written,” explained Robert Fernandez, an award-winning writer and director who signed on to help with the film. “We wanted to hold true to John Bunyan’s work while creating a story that would be visually impacting and appeal to today’s movie-goers.”
And it’s not just about putting John Bunyan’s story on the big screen. It’s about spreading God’s truth worldwide. Once complete, the movie will be translated into at least 20 different languages. It will then be offered for free to the international missions community as evangelism material. Missionaries across the globe will have a new, exciting way to bring unbelievers to Jesus.
Please join us in praying over the success of this film. And be sure to visit The Pilgrim's Progress Kickstarter page by clicking HERE in order to keep updated on the film's progress, as well as to see how you can support the project!