The third season of National Geographic's "The Story of God with Morgan Freeman," premiered Tuesday night, and the Academy Award-winning actor says he hopes the series helps viewers become more tolerant of different religions and belief systems.
Freeman takes a darker look at world religions this season as he explores the question: “Who is the devil? He also seeks to learn more about visions, whether performing rituals brings believers closer to God, and how people combat sin as he travels the world in search of answers.
“We're hoping that most people will take away something in particular, and that particular thing would be: we must all be tolerant of other belief systems because they all narrow down and they all boil down to the same core idea — that love works,” Freeman told The Christian Post last Friday, when asked what he wants Christians to take away from this season.
Lori McCreary, an executive producers of the “Story of God” who's also a Christian, added to Freeman’s comment saying: “Jesus told His disciples, 'Love one another as I have loved you.’ I think the only way we can love each other is by knowing each other. And that’s one of the things that this series we hope can do, help people understand that they can have a connection with someone who doesn't believe the same and therefore open themselves up to being in a relationship with them.”
In the episode titled “God Among us,” Freeman explores historical facts about Jesus, and looks at other spiritual leaders who some considered to be gods in the flesh. When asked if those investigations revealed anything new to him about Jesus, Freeman replied, “No.”
“I'm raised in the South, which is real Jesus country. So I don't think that there was anything that I learned in this process. That was not new information for me,” he explained.
McCreary added, “When I first met Morgan 20 years ago I was surprised how much he knew about the Bible and Jesus because I didn't know his background and he sometimes corrects me.”
"I think Christians might find some aha's in this,” she continued. “When we find the place where, for the first time Jesus is referred to as God, I think that's so enlightening and so surprising for me as a Christian that there's a place like that.”
In a previous interview with CP, Freeman said he felt most closely aligned with Zoroastrianism.
“I think that probably the most realization that I had in all of this was the realization of what faith I could adopt. I grew up like most southerners, somewhere between Methodist and Baptist in the Protestant faith, not much of a practitioner,” Freeman admitted.
“But what I learned in terms of being able to claim a religion, was that I’m mostly attuned to Zoroastrianism. This is a very ancient religion with the simplest of tenants — good thoughts, good words, good deeds — so easy to live by,” he said.
Season 3 features six episodes that “take viewers on an interfaith journey around the globe, traveling to 30 different cities of historical and anthropological importance, including Jerusalem, Kathmandu, Jericho, Rome, Bethlehem, Paris, Prague, Hanoi, Toronto and Lourdes. The series’ filmmakers met with 13 religious experts, eight priests, three druids, three shamans, one imam, one rabbi, one former executioner, one nun, two 'living goddesses' and hundreds of monks. The series interviews believers of many faiths including Christians, Jews, pagans, druids, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, animists, Buddhists and agnostics,” the show’s synopsis reads.
Visit National Geographic for more information on “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.”