‘Persecution’ movie mired in controversy

‘Persecution’ movie mired in controversy

A Facebook advert for a planned movie about the persecution of Christians has reportedly been rejected by Facebook because it broke policy guidelines.

According to Christian Today, the text of the advert said:

Are you a Christian? We challenge you to change your profile picture to this ‘I Am A Christian’ photo for one week! Change your picture now, and challenge your friends to do the same. Stand up and declare, ‘Yes, I Am A Christian!!!’

CT said that when the ad was submitted to Facebook’s ad team a response was received saying:

Your ad wasn’t approved because it doesn’t follow Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines for language that is profane, vulgar, threatening or generates high negative feedback. Ads can’t use language that insults, harasses or demeans people, or addresses their age, gender, name, race, physical condition or sexual preference.

When the film’s promoters queried the response they were told:

Your ad wasn’t approved because it doesn’t follow our language policies. We’ve found that people dislike ads that directly address them or their personal characteristics such as religion. Ads should not single out individuals or degrade people.

We don’t accept language like ‘Are you fat?’ ‘Wanna join me?’ and the like. Instead, text must present realistic and accurate information in a neutral or positive way and should not have any direct attribution to people.

Facebook’s advertising guidelines say that ads “may not assert or imply, directly or indirectly, within the ad content or by targeting, a user’s personal characteristics within the following categories” which include “religion or philosophical belief”.

The curious thing about this report is that the “Are you a Christian?” wording that CT says was rejected in fact features prominently on the movie’s Facebook page. Did Facebook have a change of heart?

Meriam Inrahim and her husband

Meriam Ibrahim and her husband Daniel Wani

The second curious thing is that CT reports that the movie is about Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to death for apostasy in Sudan. After international outrage was expressed, she was allowed to leave the country and settle in the US.

CT also claims that:

Meriam and her husband Daniel Wani have expressed strong opposition to the film, which is being made without their involvement or consent.

Meriam’s husband, Daniel, told CT that they had been contacted last year by the film’s promoters but had rejected their approach because they had accepted another from a different film company. Christian Lives Matter, the company behind I am a Christian was “taking advantage of them”, he said.

Ibrahim’s name is not mentioned in an appeal for $500,000 needed to make the movie. On the Indigogo site the appeal says:

If you were forced to choose between your faith or your life, what would you do?  That is the very choice that some are forced to make. 

Every day NGOs, citizen lead [sic] non government organizations, fight to end religious persecution around the world.  We want to tell their story.  

This is an amazing Christian story that must be told, truthfully and the Christian way!  We know that if Hollywood makes this story will be made completely politically correct, Christianity will be watered down, and Sharia Law will be protected. 

In today’s world, where Christians are openly mocked by the main stream media, you now have a chance to stand and bravely declare ‘I Am A Christian!’

However, on March 16 it posted on Facebook that I am A Christian is:

The true story of a women [sic] sentenced to death for her faith.


The funding appeal was launched on March 15, and has so far attracted funding of $3,563.

13 responses to “‘Persecution’ movie mired in controversy”

  1. Trevor Blake says:

    Thank goodness that Facebook takes a proactive stand against Muslims who celebrate the murder of Jews.

    Well, perhaps they do not. Perhaps Muslims who celebrate the murder of Jews are okay but Christians who celebrate being Christians are not.

    It looks like persecution of Christians but instead it’s a rational evidence-based fear of Muslims. Fear that any criticism or questioning of Islam leads to being called a racist (what race is Islam again?) or being killed.

  2. Daz says:

    The rejection of the ad seems somewhat odd. Admittedly, it kinda plays into the usual western fundie persecution-envy, but it’s not exactly singling anyone out for ridicule or owt like that.

    @Trevor Blake

    The policy is regarding what may appear in adverts, rather than the non-monetised content of a person’s or group’s page. (And while I may deplore the violence celebrated at that facebook site from my nice safe home, I have a feeling that I’d see it in a rather different light were I a Palestinian, condemned from birth to be the underdog in an apartheid state. That hatred might be channelled by the Qur’an, but it is very understandably born of a very real injustice.)

  3. Marky Mark says:

    “The true story of a women [sic] sentenced to death for her faith.”

    What about the non-faithful that are sentenced to death…do they not matter?

  4. Robster says:

    Facebook are being caring and concerned for the wellbeing of their consumers. Expecting people to openly declare they follow the Christian nonsense is a big ask, bit like getting people to wear bright red t shirts with “I’m a deluded fool” plastered across the front in white lettering. Facebook are concerned about terminal embarrassment, they’re worried that potential advertisers would see lots of “I am Christian” banners popping up on the site and advertisers saying “hang on, Facebook users are bit intellectually compromised” and decide it’s a demographic they’re not interested in and therefore or thus a loss of revenue is possible. It’s easy to sympathise with their concern.

  5. gegsieline says:

    It’s hard to appreciate what all the fuss is about. Onward Christian soldiers, it’s like a broken record.

  6. barriejohn says:

    Just have a read of this:

    The American Pastors Network, a Religious Right group hoping to organize networks of politically active evangelical pastors in all 50 states, met with Pennsylvania pastors at Lancaster Bible College on Thursday. The day-long event featured several national speakers like “historian” David Barton, activist Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ, and right-wing broadcaster Sandy Rios, who as Kyle reported yesterday, urged participants to prepare for martyrdom.

    What a load of rubbish; and maybe American visitors to this blog could put us right, but have these “politically active” pastors surrendered their right to tax breaks in the US now?

  7. sailor1031 says:

    @Barriejohn: “have these “politically active” pastors surrendered their right to tax breaks in the US now?”

    Well in principle yes, in practice no. The tax exemptions they enjoy are under tax laws and IRS regulations. They get tax breaks as religious organisations but they have to remain neutral politically. Many of them don’t do this but it’s up to the IRS to enforce federal tax laws and their own regulations. IRS seems to be highly unwilling to enforce the laws and regs especially since the faux-scandal of a few years back when they allegedly singled out political right wing organisations for denial of tax breaks while approving tax breaks for so-called liberal political groups. It turned out that the IRS was actually NOT discriminating but merely applying the regs to all the political groups. In the USA the right-wing especially the ultra-right wing has a persecution complex just as the religions do – not surprising since they are mostly the same people. The whole affair scared the IRS so much that there is no danger they will stir up the wasp nest again by enforcing the rules.
    I believe one of the “liberal” groups (FFRF maybe?) has actually instituted suit against the IRS to enforce the rules and either get the churches out of politics or take away their tax breaks, but that’ll take years and isn’t likely to be succesful with so many xtians on the Supreme court – especially the likes of Scalia and Thomas who are shamelessly partisan and have no consistent interpretation of law.
    It’s interesting to see the things the Federal Government thinks are important and what they’ll walk away from. Remember when Cliven Bundy refused to pay grazing fees to the BLM. He raised a private army of fascist nutters all armed to the teeth and told BLM to fuck off which they did. The FedGov has done nothing about this armed insurrection to date and doesn’t apparently plan to. Bundy is still at liberty and still grazing his cattle on BLM land and still not paying fees last I heard. Compare with the cases of Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden who all really upset the FedGov by revealing the things it was doing.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Sailor: Thanks for that most enlightening post. I have just been watching a BBC News report on the Machine Gun America fun attraction in Orlando,where kids can learn to shoot up people who annoy them. Some Americans are concerned about this. Whyever would that be?

    I had heard about Cliven Bundy before, as it always amused me that he shared the surname of one of my favourite sitcom characters – Al Bundy (Married…with Children) – with whom one imagines that he would have much in common, but I don’t think that there was any connection!

  9. dennis says:

    excellent understanding of our problem here in the states, unfortunately. its funny but back in the 60′ when I had to go to a baptist church, the preacher would say stuff like I can’t talk about politics because of separation of church and state but he would CONDEMN the unrest coming from Afro-Americans and the hippies and anti war folks usually classifying xtian as being persecuted by the afore mentioned problems in America. the poor picked on xtian came to the colonies and demanded separation of church and state because of being persecuted by the government back in England and Europe. so now they want their cake and eat it to. preachers now just jump all over the politics of our nation with immunity and the congregation says a-men.

  10. dennis says:

    we also have the Adrenaline rush here in central TEXAS but its called “fun guns” with adds during the morning local news showing women shooting machine guns with the muzzle all in the air and still firing. sex and weapons sell in the states then combine them and a xtian gets happy. as a MARINE seeing untrained fools with a automatic or any weapon is a scary thing to me.

  11. Cali Ron says:

    Just what we need here, more untrained, inexperienced people shooting full auto guns. What could go wrong?

  12. Rob Andrews says:

    Of Topic:

    Speaking of the media. There will be a CNN documentary on atheism called: “Atheists: Inside the World of Non believers”. It will air on:

    Cable News Network. Tuesday March 24, 2015, at 9:00 pm Eastern time, US.
    “Blasphemy is a victimless crime”.

  13. Vanity Unfair says:

    Put down the air-brush.
    Keep your hands where I can see them.
    Step away from the drawing-board.
    I have a defamation suit and I’m not afraid to use it.