(Photo: CJStudio/Carol Scott)
The makers of the viral online video "180" handed its pro-life documentary to college students on Tuesday by distributing about 200,000 DVDs at more than 100 universities throughout the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.
Produced by Living Waters ministry and its founder Ray Comfort, the dramatic 33-minute film released one month ago has been viewed more than 1.2 million times at 180Movie.com and YouTube. The effort on Tuesday was meant to physically put the DVD into the hands of tens of thousands of college students.
In the video, Comfort captures the responses of young adults to a series of questions from him, who begins by asking whether they know who Adolf Hitler is and the fact that he sanctioned the killing of 11 million people.
While talking to several people who have a pro-abortion stance, Comfort then transitions from talk about lives lost in the Holocaust to lives lost as the result of abortions in the United States. In the video, it is quite apparent those interviewed change their opinion on abortion.
“It’s not only being watched online, people are buying it to give away,” Comfort said in press release about the college DVD distribution. “We have sold more than 150,000 copies in a matter of weeks. One small church purchased 16,800. But this week’s university giveaway was very special because it put the physical DVD into the hands of the youth of America, and engaged many in healthy dialogue.”
Living Waters’ director of Project: 180, Tony Miano, told The Christian Post Wednesday that the distribution by the teams – composed of a total of 1,000 participants – went well. However, he said there were setbacks on some college campuses. He did not name the colleges because the ministry's report was not complete, he said.
“There were a number of teams that were forced off the campuses either due to policy or just the discomfort of the team being there, but all things considered, the opposition was relatively minimal,” Miano said. “Even those teams that were forced off the campus were able to distribute the documentary on adjacent public sidewalks close to the campus so the DVDs still went out to the students.”
Jared Duba, 21, who is a member of the NorCal Seedsowers ministry, participated in the distribution of 1,000 DVDs at San Jose State University. Duba, also a freelance videographer captured the SJSU giveaway on video.
“We chose to begin right as most students got out of class, so it was pretty crowded. I've heard that teams had a really hard time passing out the DVDs on other campuses, but it was really easy for us,” Duba said. “We passed out all of ours within the first 20 minutes or so.”
“I feel very encouraged to return to pass out tracts and witness there more often,” he said.
Miano, who was at University of California Los Angeles with Comfort, said that in addition to distributing 2,000 DVDs at the college, there was some open-air preaching. Comfort and others spoke at Bruin Walk, a major campus walkway and gathering spot.
The successful distribution at UCLA and all the other campuses means there will be more similar events, Miano said.
“We are receiving all kinds of reports and emails from students who received the documentary. The types of responses run the gamut of everything from high praise to the worst kind of vitriol you can imagine,” he said. “The majority of the responses, probably 10 to 1, has been positive towards the documentary.”
Miano, who also leads the Ambassadors program at Living Waters, said that he has been a leader in Christian ministry for more than 20 years and that the production and distribution of “180” has impacted his life greatly.
“I could say unequivocally that this documentary and distributing this documentary worldwide is by far the most important thing I have ever done as a Christian,” Miano said. “As a follower of Jesus Christ I have always been pro-life, but like so many Christians, I have kind of sat on the sidelines regarding the fight.”
“As this documentary came together and as we were interviewing people and seeing the utter ignorance of people, particularly on college campuses regarding not only the abortion issue, but the Holocaust of World War II itself … how many people had no idea who Hitler was or what he did … it’s that kind of ignorance that allows history to repeat itself,” he highlighted.
“We’re seeing that kind of history repeated not only in the United States with the systematic killing of more than 53 million of our citizens since Roe v. Wade, but more than 42 million children every year around the world are murdered by way of abortion,” he said.
Comfort also produced a “180 Course” video and book series to teach others how to share the film’s message.
“I will not rest as long as the horror of killing babies is a legal reality in our nation. But political change will only come if those who care about the unborn speak up,” Comfort said.