EXCLUSIVE: CURIOUS DEVELOPMENT IN SYRIA
By Joel C. Rosenberg

On Monday night, something remarkable is taking place in the capital of Syria. More than 1,100 senior Syrian government officials, journalists, business leaders and religious leaders — Muslim, Catholic and evangelical Christian — will attend the gala premiere of a major motion picture entitled “DAMASCUS,” written, produced and directed by entirely Arab Christians. The film, part documentary and part narrative drama, tells the story of how Saul of Tarsus — one of the first prominent persecutors of Christ-followers in the Holy Land — himself became a follower of Jesus during a miraculous encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and eventually became known as the Apostle Paul, going on to write much of the New Testament.

It is unheard of in the Middle East to have a major Christian film about the events of the New Testament debut in a Muslim-majority country run by the secular Ba’ath Party, much less have the premiere supported and attended by senior government officials. That’s what makes the “DAMASCUS” docu-drama project so extraordinary. What’s more, the film is hosted and narrated by one of the most well-known Syrian TV newscasters who explains the historic events of the life of Paul in the very places where those events occurred. Numerous events in Paul’s life are then dramatized using famous Syrian Muslim actors playing the parts of Jews and Jewish followers of Jesus.

After the premiere, the film is expected to be launched throughout Syria and the rest of the Muslim world. Sources indicate senior Catholic leaders in the Vatican recently reviewed the film and were favorable.

The remarkable film debut comes at a sensitive time for Syrian officials who are feeling quite isolated from the West. U.S. and European leaders have been sharply critical of President Bashar al-Assad’s government on a number of fronts, for supporting Hezbollah’s war against Israel, supporting Hamas’ war against Israel, forming a strategic alliance with Iran, buying billions of dollars worth of advanced weapons systems from Russia, and building a nuclear facility with the help of North Korea (a facility that was bombed and destroyed by an Israel airstrike several years ago). Syria’s government has never been controlled by Radical Islamic jihadists. Still, it has long stifled activities by Arab Christians to teach others about their faith. It is not clear what the Assad government’s motives are for both allowing and supporting the release of the “DAMASCUS” film. But it is an encouraging development indeed.

It is especially noteworthy given two Bible prophecies — one in Isaiah 17 and the other in Jeremiah 49 — that suggest the city of Damascus will be obliterated in what the Bible calls “the last days.” The Scriptures do not say exactly when or how the Syrian capital will be destroyed. But let us pray that the powerful message of Paul’s life and Jesus Christ’s love and forgiveness for all people is clearly communicated to every Syrian, particularly those in the capital.


3 thoughts on ““Damascus” Film Premiere in Syria on Monday, March 2

  • Very cool , ONLY IF IT IS PRO ISRAEL AND FAIR, TRUTHFUL AND KIND REGARDING THE JEWS. IF AT ALL ACCURATE THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING TOO.
    IF IT CREATES A POSITIVE OUTCOME ON A WORLDLY LEVEL OF LESSENING BASELESS HATRED, THEN THAT WOULD ALSO BE A GREAT OUTCOME. IT IS TIME TO SEE SOME UNITED FORCES AMONGST THE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD.
    ADW.

  • Many great opportunities are driven onto the rocks by lesser issues. Seek first the Kingdom, people! Here we have a great tool to share about the life we have in Jesus, and we can’t reference it without bringing in politics?

    Jesus struggled with the same distraction. While working to prepare a way for us to enjoy salvation, his early followers were still concerned about a military or political solution to their occupation. Lets not make their mistake.

    Seeking the Kingdom,

    Yohon

  • Blessing to you,

    My name is Tom Stout, I am the vice-president of SIM Paraguay. I am very interested in the film “Damascus” for use here in Paraguay. This would mean the dubbing of film into Guarani. And some kind of licensing agreement with the makers of this film. If we could begin a dialog about how this could happen, I would greatly appreciate it. Please take a look at our web sites for more info on our ministry projects here.

    I look forward to hearing from you
    Tom

    Mr. Stout,
    Zola Levitt Ministries’ association with this film extends solely to posting information about it’s existence on this website. However, a quick google of the words “Damascus film” produced the information that the film recently became available in English (http://joshuafund.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/damascus-available-in-english/). Perhaps the Joshua Fund can steer you to the help you seek. It is a place to start. Godspeed in your project.

    Levitt Editor

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