'Passion' Releases DVD Today in U.S.

The film that depicted the last 12 hours of Christ's life and drew millions of people worldwide to see it is being released today. The Mel Gibson film, "The Passion of the Christ" is anticipated to be as popular in stores as it was in the movie theater. It is also expected to help believers in the United States to share their faith more effectively.

"We talked to almost 10,000 of our customers. And almost 52-percent are going to purchase ‘The Passion’,” said Ann Bradford of Family Christian Stores, which is making the film available in their outlets nationwide.

“71-percent of them express that they want to have ‘The Passion’ as a lasting resource for their own spiritual growth. Also, we find very interesting, almost one in two says they'll be using ‘The Passion’ as an evangelism tool."

Bradford says churches are also expected to purchase "The Passion" for their libraries.

Meanwhile, as the film is being released in English this week, Christians in Malaysia will soon be seeing "The Passion" on the big screen for the first time as general screening is scheduled for tomorrow, September 1.

Although some months ago Christians were worried that the Film Censorship Board might block its release, following the intervention of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the movie was approved, making Malaysia one of the few predominantly Muslim countries that have allowed the showing of the film. In predominantly Muslim countries including Egypt, Qatar, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, and Iran the movie was a box-office hit. In Bahrein, the movie was prohibited, but in Indonesia the movie was allowed to be seen everywhere after the local Film Censorship Board cut some scenes for their excessive violence.

According to the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, which lobbied for the film's screening in Malaysia, “The Passion” will show in theatres on Sept. 1 for a two-month period in 17 cinemas nationwide.

Christians can make bookings through their churches.