SAN BERNARDINO, CA. (EP) – The Jesus film, a major motion picture about the life of Christ which has been played thousands of times since its release nearly a decade ago, was translated into 20 new languages during 1988, bringing the total number of translations to 123.
Since the time of its release, used by Campus Crusade for Christ and over 160 missions agencies in evangelistic outreach efforts, an estimated 325 million people have seen the film worldwide and more than 30 million people have indicated decisions to trust Christ as their personal Savior after viewing the film, according to a news report form Campus Crusade for Christ International.
The motion picture has been shown in virtually every situation, from modern U.S. theaters and television to Asian villages where film teams carry projection equipment and generators to people who have never seen a film, and often have never heard of Jesus Christ.
Shortly before the release of “The Last Temptation of Christ” last August, Campus Crusade founder and president Bill Bright offered to buy the film from Universal Studios in an attempt to block the blasphemous depiction of the life of Christ form release. The movie company refused, running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times in response to Bright’s offer.
When “Last Temptation” was released in Chicago, WCFC-TV aired “Jesus” three times to counter the Universal film. A half-page advertisement in the Chicago Tribune sponsored by 35 churches challenged readers “Don’t resist the temptation to see the true story.” According to reports, over 800 callers responded to an invitation to phone the station where counselors answered phones; 202 indicated decisions for Christ.
“I have long followed the work of missions and national church efforts striving to win people for Christ,” said Ted Engstrom, president emeritus of World Vision. “I have never seen a tool so effective, so wonderfully penetrating to the heart of man, as this film.” Currently, the film is being translated into 46 more languages.