'A.D. - The Bible Continues' Returns Sunday with Increased Violence, Persecution of Early Christians

 Roma Downey and Mark Burnett Preview 'A.D. - The Bible Continues' Episode 5

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After four episodes, "A.D. – The Bible Continues" is returning to NBC this Sunday with a brand new fifth installment revealing more about the early church, including extreme brutality against Christians.

The latest episode of "A.D." will follow Claudia (Joanne Whalley) who struggles with her husband Pontius Pilate's (Vincent Regan) brutal methods and must decide the fate of 10 women's lives. Furthermore, Sunday's episode will see Peter and John arrested again, but the pair survive trial thanks to the aged priest Gamaliel. Also, in a violent turn of events, a young Christian, Stephen, is stoned to death for his cries against the Temple.

Offering a recap of the season so far, series co-creators Roma Downey and Mark Burnett pointed to the death and resurrection of Jesus as well as the coming of the Holy Spirit. Then, the famed husband-and-wife team offered a glimpse at what viewers can expect this Sunday.

"Now, full of the Holy Spirit, Peter, John and the rest of the disciples share their new faith, which is beginning to sweep over Judaea," Downey previewed.

Chiming in during the clip, Burnett added, "In each episode of 'A.D.,' the apostles and their followers are met with increasingly brutal resistance and widespread persecutions to destroy them and of course the message itself."

"A.D. – The Bible Continues" episode 5 will air on NBC this Sunday, May 3 at 9 p.m. E.T. The encore of last week's Episode 4 will air directly before the new installment.

'A.D. The Bible Continues'
(Photo: Courtesy of NBC Universal/Media Village)
A photo from episode five of NBC's "A.D. The Bible Continues."
3 photo slide
(Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal MediaVillage)
A photo from episode 5 of NBC's "A.D. – The Bible Continues."
Stephen in
(Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal MediaVillage)
A photo from episode 5 of NBC's "A.D. – The Bible Continues."

"It's our prayer that this show serves as a catalyst for furthering the gospel and encourages you to be bold in your faith," Downey noted during this week's preview.

After each episode of "A.D.," fans can tune into NBC's first-ever digital talk show, "Beyond A.D," hosted by Jason Kennedy. New guests are featured each week to discuss the television series, but this Sunday will see Pastor John Gray of Lakewood Church, comedian Ron G and the Christian rock band The City Harmonic join the show.