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Dystopian America Where Bibles Are Banned, Believers Forced Underground: EXCLUSIVE Look at New Movie

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Picture a dystopian America where Bibles are banned, Christianity is vanquished, and believers are forced to embark on a perilous journey to worship Jesus in underground churches.

That’s the world characters face in “Disciples in the Moonlight,” a feature film releasing this summer.

According to an official description, the movie focuses on “a reluctant leader [who] heads up a team of seven Christians intent on smuggling Bibles to underground churches.” The action-packed trailer shows a world devoid of truth, where characters risk it all to exercise and live out basic beliefs.

Director Brett Varvel, who also stars in the movie, told CBN News “Disciples in the Moonlight” has long been a dream and passion project.

“From the beginning, I wanted to lift high the Word of God as absolute authority, and something that we should hold highly as absolute truth.” he said. “But, then also, the name of Jesus Christ, which is the only name under heaven given to mankind whereby we might be saved.”

Watch the trailer for “Disciples in the Moonlight”:

Varvel said he found himself wondering how he would respond if placed in the same position as the characters in the film — a real-life predicament many Christians around the world face in persecution-saturated nations like China, North Korea, and Nigeria.

“[I] saw this video on YouTube of these Christians in China receiving a shipment of Bibles, and they were pulling open the boxes and ripping the Bibles out of the box,” he said. “Kissing the Bibles, hugging the Bibles, crying over the Bibles.

Varvel continued, “And that was something that just really stuck out to me from the beginning of this exploration of this idea — ‘Do I treasure the Word of God as absolute hope, absolute authority, absolute truth?'”


Reflecting on the intense persecution so many face globally, he said it’s inspiring to see so many cling to the Gospel even amid such “heavy persecution,” juxtaposing their devotion to the more spiritually lethargic responses often observed in U.S. circles.

“I look at the church of America and I just see apathy,” Varvel said. “And, so, for me, it was this exploration of why is that the case — why is it in a land where we have so much freedom, we take so much for granted? Why are we not bold in our faith? Why are we ashamed of the Gospel? Why are we ashamed to even pronounce the name of Jesus as our only hope and our Savior?”

Varvel said those introspective questions remained with him as he worked on “Disciples in the Moonlight.” The filmmaker said the film’s primary purpose isn’t to warn people that freedoms are in danger of being taken away, nor is it a cautionary tale about what could soon happen.

“I wanted to challenge people to evaluate their heart and to ask themselves, ‘Do I even adhere to absolute truth?'” Varvel said. “Because … we live in a society right now where people are saying, ‘I’m going to redefine what is true.'”

The real truth, he argued, is “found in the Word of God only.”

In the end, he hopes “Disciples in the Moonlight” is a “love letter to the church to wake up” and make the most of the days the Lord has given and of the freedom that has been secured.

The film will premiere this July as a Fathom Event.

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