The Pilgrim’s Progress is perhaps one of the most disturbing and convicting allegories in history that has become a staple in Christian homes around the world for centuries. Now, the iconic book is hitting the big screen in a CGI-animated adaptation just in time for Easter.
Steve Cleary, founder of Revelation Media, the company producing “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” told The Christian Post that the story is “timeless,” selling more copies than any other Christian book, second only to the Bible.
“It’s the Christian journey,” he said. “When we watch ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress,’ we are Christian on our individual journeys from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. This is the journey of every believer, of staying on the straight path and allowing the King’s grace to help us when we fall and face trials. Everyone is on a path that leads to a destination. This movie shows you the King’s path and what it will look like: It has wonderful help along the way, but you will have to battle.”
Cleary, who has worked with persecuted Christians through Voice of the Martyrs for decades, said that he has always been intrigued by Bunyan, who wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress while in prison for preaching the Gospel. Cleary’s own spiritual mentor, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, was also imprisoned for his faith and wrote the international best-selling book, Tortured for Christ.
“John Bunyan has always been a hero to me because he spent 12 years in prison for his faith even though he could’ve been released if he agreed to stop preaching. He refused to do so, even though it meant giving up his family,” he said. “Ironically, he’s become one of the greatest preachers of all time as a result of The Pilgrims Progress — how many pastors are still impacting us today from 350 years ago?
“We wanted to stay true to the book and produce a film that John Bunyan would be proud of. I believe we did that.”
Revelation Media launched a Kickstarter campaign during the film’s early stages which helped raise over $60,000 to help with the completion of the project and its translations. The response to the film in the United States, Cleary said, has been encouraging, despite financial and technological limitations.
“People who are diehard fans of the book are telling us, ‘Two thumbs up, you honored the story,’” Cleary said. “This story holds a biblical truth even though it’s fantasy. To some, it’s been encouraging, to others convicting, and to still others, a call to the life they should be walking.”
From a terrifying giant named Despair to nightmarish dangers on the road to the Celestial City, John Bunyan’s 1678 book isn’t your typical bedtime story. One scene in particular strikes a nerve with U.S. Christians, Cleary said: The Vanity Fair lures pilgrims with promises of happiness, wealth, and indulgence, and it threatens death to those who dare to refrain from the revelry.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett