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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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"Passion" stirs changes, but little evangelism

Thirty-one percent of American adults say they saw Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, a recent Barna Poll says. Of those, 18 percent say it changed their religious behavior. The most common changes cited were praying and attending worship/church activities more.

Sixteen percent say the film affected their beliefs, such as the importance of how they treat others, increasing concern over their personal choices and actions, and stirring a deeper understanding of what Christ has done for them.

Despite marketing campaigns that called the movie "the greatest evangelistic tool" of our time, less impact was noted in this area.

In response to the film, one-tenth of 1 percent of viewers (about 67,000) said they accepted Christ as savior and less than one-half of 1 percent (335,000) said they were motivated to more actively share Christ with
others.

Barna concluded that in a fast-paced culture "major transformation is not likely to result from one-time exposure to a specific media product."


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