April 18, 2004


“The Passion of the Christ” wins over non-Catholic youth (Asia News, 4/01/04)

Thanks to an avalanche of English language pirated copies, the fever for Gibson’s blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ” is spreading across China, as young Catholics are taking great pains to encourage their friends and schoolmates to see the film.

AsiaNews sources in the capital have said that during the last few days there have been dozens of showings of the film in small groups and parishes, to which even non-Christians are invited.

A young non-Catholic said: “My only intention was to practice my English by watching the film. Instead, however, the movie really struck me: I can’t believe that someone would sacrifice himself for others, even to the point of dying for them,” he said. “I want to learn more about Christianity,” he added.

Never mind the commercial success, the influence Mr. Gibson's film is having in the world should earn him the Best Picture Oscar.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 18, 2004 9:01 AM

To practice his English?

Truly the Lord doth work in mysterious ways.

(Picture it. An entire generation of Chinese youth speaking fluent "Aramaic" and "Latin," albeit with English accents, in the belief that they've mastered English.)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at April 18, 2004 10:13 AM

Are you going to run a contest later in the year to predit if the Passion will win an Oscar?

Souldn't be too hard to guess right.

Posted by: Brandon at April 18, 2004 11:08 AM

If the tyke does learn more about Christianity, he'll be disappointed.

But who'll teach him the truth?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 18, 2004 7:20 PM

I just returned from two weeks in China. In Beijing, I attended Easter Mass. The church was overflowing with congregants. I noted many, many young Chinese sporting necklace crosses. Posters for The Passion were plastered all over town. I saw not a single political poster. Is something happening there, Mr. Jones?

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at April 18, 2004 8:24 PM

Gee, Harry, you better go over there and spread the anti-gospel, or else... uhh... something terrible will happen, I'm sure.

Posted by: Timothy at April 18, 2004 8:57 PM

Yeah, Harry, sounds like your destiny is calling.

Posted by: R.W. at April 18, 2004 10:09 PM

"Is something happening there, Mr. Jones?"

I guess the next time China decides to wipe out Tibetan Buddhism, they'll do it for religious reasons and not ideological ones. At least the slaughter will make sense this time, according to OJ.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at April 19, 2004 5:01 PM

Tibetan Buddhism needed wiping out, just not replacement by Communism.

Posted by: oj at April 19, 2004 5:16 PM

I haven't seen the movie, but as long as we're talking about learning about Christianity, which version of the Passion did Gibson follow?

The one where Jesus is crucified on Friday, or the one from Gospel of John where it happened on Thursday?

How many interrogations by the high priest? One or two?

Like I say, if they actually do learn something about Christianity they'll be disappointed. But who'll teach them?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 20, 2004 7:30 PM