Jim Caviezel Talks Main Controversy Behind 'Paul, the Apostle of Christ' Film, Dedicated to Martyrs

Actor Jim Caviezel has opened up about what he considers to be the main controversy in the upcoming "Paul, the Apostle of Christ" film, where he plays Luke. 

"The greatest controversy of this film is forgiving at all costs, and that doesn't mean weakness or the acceptance of evil. It means meeting evil face-to-face ... that's the hardest thing," Caviezel told Catholic News Agency.

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"Some of the most powerful dialogue centers around what true courage is," he added. "Courage is ardent love. Love creates change by igniting a passion in each one of us. One person at a time."

The movie, which has its premiere on March 23, tells the story of the early persecuted Christians under the Emperor Nero. 

Executive Producer Eric Groth said that the film is dedicated to the struggles of persecuted believers.

"We were writing this script through those heavy intense times with ISIS and the problems that are going on in Syria and the Middle East," Groth told CNA.

He said that the experience of the "martyrs of the centuries who have laid down their lives" was also used when making the film.

With Christian persecution increasing around the world, Rome's ancient Colosseum was recently lit in red for believers.

Pope Francis welcomed several persecuted Christians and their families, who shared with him and with reporters the suffering they have been subjected to due to their faith.

James Faulkner, the actor behind Paul in the film, is known for roles in major television hits such as "Game of Thrones" and "Downton Abbey," but said that the experience on his latest film changed him.

While admitting that Caviezel is a "much more devout Christian" than himself, Faulkner said that the role of Paul, including repeatedly rereading his letters, changed him as a person.

"Do I have more humility? Yes. Do I have more love for my fellow man? Yes. Is there a possibility of redemption even for myself? Yes, there is," the actor said.

He also talked about how "Paul, the Apostle of Christ" offered a different set experience than "Game of Thrones."

"Being placed in a much simpler environment, and feeling entirely supported by those around you, and loved by those around you, I found to be an extraordinary experience," Faulkner said.

Back in December, Caviezel explained the significance of Saul's transformation into one of Jesus' apostles while on the set of the film.

"The name Saul means great one," Caviezel said. "And Paul, the name, just by one change of a letter, means little one."

"In order for us to be great in the eyes of God, we have to become very small."

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