Based on the Gospels of the Holy Bible, The Passion depicts the final 12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ in violent, realistic detail.
English subtitles were added to the film, which is spoken in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic, the vernacular of ancient Palestine.
Local churches such as the Cedartown Church of God, Cedar Lake Christian Center, New Hope, Victory Baptist and New Harmony Baptist, are all renting the West Theatre, located on 112 West Ave., for their congregations to view The Passion. Many more churches have signed up to bring groups during regular theatre hours.
Many nationally recognized Christian leaders have voiced their approval of The Passion. Rev. Billy Graham called the film one of the best depictions of Christ he has ever seen.
Leaders of Cedartown churches are also giving accolades to the film.
According to Cedartown Church of God Pastor Danny Rhodes, his church has rented the historical theatre for a 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. show on Friday, Feb. 27.
Members are urged to bring at least one person not affiliated with the church to the screening.
“It’s an opportunity for us to evangelize,” Rhodes said. “We should seize the opportunity to see what Christ went through. We can read it in the word and maybe visualize it in our minds, but we are actually going to see it with our eyes.”
The Cedartown Church of God congregation shares Rhodes enthusiasm for The Passion. Over 400 tickets were made available for church members to purchase, all of which sold out in under 30 minutes.
The West Theatre has even given Rhodes permission to have a time of prayer at the end of the film.
Rhodes said that, since they are in short supply, churches should support quality Christian movies. Other pastors in the community echo that belief as well.
Rev. David Grove of First Presbyterian Church said that while his congregation has no plans for a private screening, he has encouraged his entire congregation to go see the film.
New Harmony Baptist Pastor Dwayne New stated that his congregation does realize the importance of seeing what Christ had to endure.
New said that 226 members of his church have signed up to view the film, meaning that the West Theatre will be filled past its 205 seat capacity.
“We will have to bring out some chairs,” he said.
According to West Theatre employee Julie Andrews, efforts have been made to contact every church in the community to inform them about screening opportunities.
Churches interested in a private screening for their congregation can contact Andrews at 770-748-6568.