(NaturalNews) A new film set for release on July 18 is a political thriller that pits modern government against a basic constitutional right and highlights the fundamental conflicts between the main character's Christian beliefs and the "religious reforms" as envisioned by statists.
According to the movie's website:
[The film] depicts evangelist John Luther as the last obstacle in the way of sweeping religious reform. When a senator frames Luther for the murder of an innocent teenage girl, an unprecedented era of persecution is unleashed. An evangelist turned fugitive, Luther's mission brings him face-to-face with the coming storm of persecution that will threaten the entire Christian community in America.
According to actor and former U.S. senator from Tennessee Fred Thompson, who co-stars in the film, Americans should be increasingly "mindful" of a federal government growing in power that undermines religious freedoms, noting that the film depicts just how dangerous an overzealous government can be.
The movie is a takeoff of governmental power
According to a review of the film by WorldNetDaily news editor Drew Zahn, Persecuted is a dramatic fictional thriller about a popular preacher who dares to resist a new "religious unity" bill that is being pushed by powerful Washington legislators and interests.
The preacher soon finds himself "toppled from the pulpit and a fugitive on the run for his life, all for refusing to compromise his freedoms of speech and religion," Zahn writes.
The film stars a number of other recognizable actors as well, including James Remar of TV's Dexter, Bruce Davidson of the X-Men films, Dean Stockwell of Quantum Leap and even Fox News star host Gretchen Carlson, among others.
"The movie is not a documentary," Thompson told WND in an exclusive interview. "It is a takeoff on governmental power and those in government who legislate what they feel like is a good idea -- on how people ought to conduct themselves, promote their religion and the message they should be delivering.
"Whether you're talking about on the airwaves and 'equal time' or Obamacare or things of that nature, we're in that territory now," Thompson continued. "So again, this is not a documentary; it shows what can happen.
"That's what all good art does: If it's not possible, it's not entertaining," Thompson said. "But there's an awful lot out there that is possible."
Added Carlson: "'Persecuted' is about freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and if anyone has watched me on Fox News over the last nine years, they will know that those are issues I speak about and am very open about."
'More realistic than some of the space movies'
Continuing in her interview with WND, Carlson said:
This film is really emblematic of these issues that are being discussed in many circles across the country right now. One of the draws of this film is it's supposed to be thought-provoking in the sense that when you leave the theater you say to yourself, 'Maybe I should be thinking more about these rights that were given to me centuries ago by the people who fought so hard for these freedoms.'
The title of the film was intended to be provocative, obviously, but both Thompson and Carlson were asked about how accurate the film is, as well as the notion that Christians are persecuted to some degree in modern-day America.
"More realistic than some of the space movies that get popular," Thompson joked. "But it's realistic certainly to the extent that these things are possible. The idea of those in government and powerful positions being able to carry out nefarious activities is more than possible, and in this particular case, though we haven't seen anybody go to the extent they go to in this movie, the notion of a religious person preaching the gospel running up against the government and governmental policies -- or those who want to carry out a business and running up against governmental regulations and rules -- is not far-fetched at all. In fact, we're seeing that happen as we speak in the Hobby Lobby case and in some other cases coming down the pike."
Added Carlson, "Over the last decade, I do believe there has been more emphasis on trying to strip our society of certain things that have been in existence for a long time."