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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Amazing look back to 1807

Film chronicles start of anti-slavery effort

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the British Parliament’s first official step to end the slave trade. A young House of Commons member with strong religious convictions, William Wilberforce (1759-1833) led the long and grueling fight.

The recently released film Amazing Grace (Bristol Bay Films) tells the dramatic story of the 1807 measure. It took far longer, however, to actually abolish slavery.

The film’s title comes from the beloved hymn by John Newton (1725-1807), a crucial figure in the movie. Newton was a former slave trader who became a clergyman in his later years—repenting of his ways and providing documents for the anti-slavery movement.


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