The 16-year-old pop sensation has wooed tween girls the world around, but now Justin Bieber is out to court the faith community.
Hitting theaters Friday is Bieber’s new 3-D concert film/documentary titled, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” which is being marketed to the faith and family-friendly crowd.
The Paramount Pictures flick has been screened for faith leaders across the nation and it comes with a “spiritual resource guide” for those who are interested. The guide includes Bible verses related to the movie that can be used in small groups.
“[The movie] provides an opportunity to teach our children about the power of hope, prayer, faith and family,” reads the guide.
In the film, Bieber is shown praying before concerts and saying grace before meals, among other expressions of his Christian faith. His mother, Pattie Mallette, shares in the film how faith helped stabilized her life as a single teen mother.
Never one to shy away from professing his beliefs, Bieber has shared on many accounts about the importance of faith in his life.
In a November interview with The Associated Press, the young singer shared how his Christian faith has kept him grounded in “scary” Hollywood.
“I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. I believe that I have a relationship and I’m able to talk to Him and really, He’s the reason I’m here, so I definitely have to remember that,” Bieber had said to AP while promoting his autobiography, First Step 2 Forever: My Story. “As soon as I start forgetting, I’ve got to click back and be like, you know, this is why I’m here.”
His mother, Pattie Mallette, has shared about her broken past and how she came to Christ and received his forgiveness. Mallette was sexually abused as a child and grew up in a broken home. In her early teens she began to abuse alcohol and drugs and shortly after ran away from home. She also attempted suicide and was enrolled in a mental hospital.
It was while she was at the hospital that a man came to tell her about God’s love and helped her to receive Him in her heart.
“I was never married. I came to the Lord when I was 17, but shortly after accepting Christ, I went back to making my own decisions and got pregnant,” said Mallette in a Baptist Press interview posted Wednesday. “Realizing what I had done, I came back to God wholeheartedly, begging Him to forgive me. It’s really an incredible testimony of God’s mercy and grace. And the genuine love of people at the church who encouraged me.”
The pop star’s mother also shared that her son had made his own decision of faith when he was about five or six years old.
“I told him it was his decision. He couldn’t make it because of mommy,” she recalled. “It has to be because of your own heart. And he kept telling me that he understood. And when he was eight or nine, he wanted to be baptized. So, I let him.”
She said she keeps her extremely popular son grounded by praying for him.
Before Bieber was famous, he sang Christian songs on YouTube. And after he was famous, he still managed to sing a song or two about his faith. In November, he released a single “Pray” in which he sings about prayer life and listening to God’s voice.
“There are some stars who speak their faith because they’re trying to do outreach to that audience and there are others who share that side of their lives because that’s who they are ,” said Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, according to Religion News Service, “and I think that’s just who Justin is.”
Braun, who is Jewish, added, “When there are 20,000 people chanting your name night after night after night, if there’s no sense of faith, if there’s not a sense of something bigger than yourself, you can get lost.”
In 2010, Bieber sold 3.7 million albums in the United States alone. His song “Baby” featuring Ludacris has more than 458 million hits on YouTube. Meanwhile, his song “Never Say Never” featuring Jaden Smith has nearly 147 million hits on the user-content video site.