REVIEW: Movie “Persecuted”

This is a public service announcement.

I prefer to be kind about Christian movies.  That said, save yourself some irritation.  The newly released “Persecuted” isn’t good.

“Persecution” addresses a theme which I think is real: there is/will be persecution of true Christians who don’t water down the Faith and compromise with the world.

This movie, however, is weird.  It is as weird as its writing was bad.

I actually groaned a couple times, it was so bad.

I liked the fact that the flick is solidly against the “COEXIST” types… you know the bumper-stickers.  The true baddies are the promoters of “indifferentism”, that all religions are equal, and all distinctions between religious need to be eliminated so that we can all just get along.  Apparently, this is a government plot in order to eliminate religious terrorism.

Don’t get in the way of these baaaad government coexisters!  They’ll open up a can of whupass on ya!

No!  Really!

The plot is incoherent.  There are numerous editing problems (I especially liked the moment when the main character presses the down button for an elevator and in the next shot we see him going up).  Elements stretch credulity waaaay past the snapping point (the main character running about with a bullet in the center of his back for a looong time, even out-running various bad-guy government agents).

No no no.  Just Don’t Go.

That said, the makers, clearly non-Catholic Christians, tried to get some Catholic stuff into the movie.  For the most part, the Catholic stuff was treated with respect. I thank them for that. However, I suspect that nobody bothered to ask any Catholics anything about the Catholic stuff they put into the film.  Actor (former Senator) Fred Thompson, who plays a priest, should have stuck with the re-mortaging commercials.  Anyway, it is great that the makers treated the Catholic elements with some respect, as poorly executed as they were.

Another positive comment:

The movie made me ponder how easy it is/will be to entirely destroy the reputations of priests and bishops.  Be careful, Fathers.  When the real persecution comes, there is little that we will be able to do. They’ll get us, no matter how careful we are.  But, in the meantime, stay frosty.  Keep your heads on swivel.  Watch your six.  Develop situational awareness.

Meanwhile, here’s some COEXIST for ya!

Nah… that’s not provocative.


NB: NOT my design!


One of you readers sent this!


Another option HERE:

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in REVIEWS, Semper Paratus, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Seamus says:

    Can I get that in a real bumper sticker, you know, to put on my bumper?

  2. majuscule says:

    Someone in my home has to have the radio on during all waking hours. I usually have it subconsciously tuned out.

    Suddenly as I’m reading this I realize that noise in the background is Mark Levin interviewing Fred Thompson about this movie.

    Too weird.

  3. wanda says:

    Great design, Fr. Z.! Good idea, Seamus. I know a few people who would love a bumper sticker like Fr. Z.’s.

  4. incredulous says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf, you slay me. [Not unless you attack with deadly force, I don’t.] A gunnut priest! Who’da thunk it? I had no idea such a creation existed. [See the links I added, above.]

  5. Netmilsmom says:

    I like to support Christian movies. I’ll go to see it and give it up for the Poor Souls.

  6. pj_houston says:

    Thanks for the warning. This movie looks more promising: “Ida”: The Kind of Movie Catholics Say Is Never Made:

  7. Dundonianski says:

    I note a fascinating “connect” between the narrative here viz a viz co-existence and all religions are equal etc and a recent recall by Brian Stiller of the World Evangelical Alliance. He quotes, apparently verbatim, the following-” I’m not interested n converting evangelicals to Catholicism, I want people to find Jesus in their own communities, there are many doctrines we will never agree on, let’s not spend our time on these rather let’s be about showing the love of Jesus—” I for one can certainly agree on showing our love for Our Blessed Lord, sadly failing regularly, but I would feel safer for my immortal soul, failing always as I do, from an orthodox and unyielding doctrine of Catholicism as was imparted to me prior to Vatican 11 and the subsequent novelties. Furthermore, when Christ’s Vicar on earth utters words (not denied by Vatican Press Office) as quoted above, regardless of ‘what he really intended to say’- then we all of us, not just Houston have a serious problem.

  8. Fr_Sotelo says:

    “Ida” the movie packed in many themes of Catholic drama into one, powerful punch, in less than an hour and a half. Excellent movie where a nun about to go profession of vows is tested in her vocation. The only caveat I have is that for traditional, Catholic families, some may choose to see it as “R” rated instead of its given PG-13 rating because of the adult, mature themes presented. The parents might enjoy the movie but not want their kids to watch it, even the older teens.

  9. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    In the crossed out sticker, what does the “i” represent? I’d like to think The Easter Vigil. [Perhaps a bishop’s staff might have been more recognizable in that slot as an “i”?]

    Notice how the peace movement, the ecology movement, and the sexual revolution are treated as religions — which they are not. I don’t see Hinduism and Buddhism represented, although Taoism is, which was popular with Hippies and Space Cadets in the 60s and 70s. At least two good religious made it: Judaism and Christianity.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    I hope I’m not being the fly, but the Coexist stickers are so out there they are probably not even registering on the brain anymore. I mean, most people see it from a distance, assume it says “Coexist” and don’t look more closely to see it is not exactly coexist. So it is basically still Coexist in most people’s minds. Most of these are read from a car length away. I like yours however, Fr. Z.
    Thank you for the head’s up on the movie. I am looking forward to seeing “Heaven is Real”, which is not a decidedly Catholic film but a positive Christian one and I’m good with that. I’m reading the book and the little boy who has the near death experience becomes strident in his insistence that a recently deceased man “have Jesus in his heart”. He even makes a fuss at the man’s funeral, so intense is he. It reminded me of our little saints Jacinta and Francisco, and how focused they became after their experience with Our Lady of Fatima. These are of course unusual behaviors for a child so it indicates something super extraordinary occurred.
    Fr. Z., someday when you having nothing to do and are utterly bored, a discussion of great Catholic films or even mediocre, would be interesting! (But will that day ever happen.)

  11. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    I’m told by a Facebook friend: “The “dot” on the ‘i’ is a pentagram inscribed in a circle – a wiccan symbol, so another nonsense hippie ‘religion’.”

    I’m almost glad that I didn’t recognize it as such.

  12. Sandy says:

    Love your bumper sticker, Father! [It isn’t mine.] That “coexist” bumper sticker is still around, and is disgusting to see because of what it stands for. People who display it should be embarrassed.

  13. scholastica says:

    Kathleen, stick with the book, the movie (Heaven is for Real) was so disappointing and unnecessarily changed the story and characters. Ended up ruining the beautiful story for me. I need to reread the book to reboot my memory.

  14. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    Not every film advertised on conservative Web sites will necessarily be good.

    Since “The Passion of the Christ,” I think many conservatives and religious traditionalists have reduced their whining about being shut out of Hollywood and gradually learned how to make and market films as independent film makers. Seeing a film in a theater isn’t the only the way to see films. Keep in mind YouTube, On Demand services, the expansion of cable channels, and streaming services such as Netflix (which lets you find films according to genre) and Hulu. In fact, Netflix streams many of the foreign and smaller films I prefer instead of the special effects-laden blockbusters.

  15. Pingback: Coexist! No, Really! | Mundabor's Blog

  16. Gerard Plourde says:

    Indifferentism can exist on both the Left and the Right. According to a number of reviews the Fred Thompson Catholic priest character is the biological father of the Evangelical preacher protagonist. Is the movie giving the message that he was saved when he turned his back on the Church?

  17. James Joseph says:

    Regarding Co-Existing:
    I saw a co-exist window decal that was rainbow colors but the ‘T’ (cross) but replaced a T (totem-pole) replete with the usual Islamic symbols and a Star of David.

    The sticker next to it said: One people under one god.

    And, the sticker next to that has some yoga thing and Hindi writing script which I cannot read.

  18. frjim4321 says:

    I would like to have that much free time on my hands.

  19. SaintJude6 says:

    Is it true that in the book, “Heaven is for Real,” the little boy tells his father that Jesus wears a crown with a pink stone in the middle, that Jesus has a rainbow-colored horse, and that all the people in heaven have lights over their heads and wings? I know that reputable Catholic bookstores will not carry this book, because it contains stories of private revelations that have not been approved by the Church.

  20. Sonshine135 says:

    Kind of reminds me of the poor attempt to do Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I know Atlas isn’t a Christian film (Ayn was an atheist), but you had some conservative screen writers that simply tried too hard. That is what your review sounds like Fr. Z- a bunch of well intentioned conservative christian actors just tried too hard.

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