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'Multiplied' doc gives intimate look at Christianity's growth amid persecution: 'It's exploding'

'Multiplied'
"Multiplied" | Multiplied Film/Screenshot

"Multiplied," a groundbreaking film directed by Chris Worthington, offers a new perspective on the state of Christianity worldwide and the power of evangelism at a time when reports of Christianity's decline and persecution are rampant. 

The film, in theaters through Fathom Events May 20-21, follows the 24-year-old filmmaker and founder of Every Nation Will Bow as he travels across Brazil, Ghana and Nigeria, documenting the vibrant, multifaceted expressions of Christianity around the globe.

“I watched Billy Graham so much after I got saved that I felt like I knew him,” Worthington told The Christian Post. “So when he passed away, the power of his life and legacy really hit me. And then I thought to myself, ‘Well, with him gone, what does the future of evangelism look like?” 

The subsequent death of Reinhard Bonnke, a giant in African evangelism, prompted Worthington to explore the future of evangelism, leading him to Daniel Kolenda, Bonnke's successor, and the concept of "multiply" as the new era of evangelism.

“God doesn't change, but He does have a calendar. And I think that we hit a new date on God's calendar,” Worthington said. 

Watch the exclusive "The Heart of "Multiplied" clip below

This exploration took Worthington and his team on a journey to capture the essence of Christian gatherings across diverse cultures and settings. 

From the massive three-stadium event in Brazil to the harrowing experiences in Nigeria, where they faced a life-threatening encounter, the film showcases the growth and challenges of Christianity in vastly different parts of the world.

While Christianity is popular in Brazil — “everybody wants to be on a massive stage, and preach to 80,000 people” — Worthington said, his experience in Nigeria was much different.

"In Nigeria, it's the exact opposite ... we went from flying on private jets to actually getting shot at in Nigeria. My life flashed before my eyes. I didn't realize all that persecution over there. It was insane,” he shared. 

“One week before we got to Nigeria, we were informed that a terrorist organization killed a pastor and his entire family, and we were doing a 500,000-person Gospel event right there," he said. "On the way, we got trapped in a dust storm, so we couldn't fly and had to go on a really dangerous highway. We met a guy ... who pulled out a silver Glock. I'll never forget it. He knew who we were; he pointed straight at us, right at my head. I saw the evil in his eyes, and at that moment, I thought, ‘I guess this is where it ends.”

Despite the dangers and challenges faced during filming, Worthington said he and his team were driven by a deeper purpose. 

“The more the more you get attacked, the more things that try to go wrong, things that are obviously spiritual warfare, the better you're doing. So just keep pushing through it, because you're going to change the world that way,” he said. 

Worthington said his goal with "Multiplied" is to impact viewers deeply, especially those skeptical about Christianity's vitality in an increasingly secularized culture.

"Christianity is exploding, especially in Africa," he stressed. "I saw it for myself and got it all on camera. It's about showing the reality that it's not just about a few famous evangelists anymore but about an entire generation preaching the Gospel. It's about you and me; it's about the normal person. I think that's how Jesus wanted it from the beginning."

The film also features exclusive in-theater performances by top artists like Alexander Pappas and Kim Walker-Smith and perspectives from Brian "Head" Welch of Korn and Scott McNamara.

The director reflected on the transformative power of documentary filmmaking in evangelism, highlighting the potential to reach audiences in new and impactful ways. 

"Film is a huge tool for evangelism. The new crusade field is the living room," Worthington said, citing the success of films and shows like "The Chosen" and "Jesus Revolution" in reaching hearts and minds across America.

“I think that a Christian film Renaissance is happening right now, and I think that's how God wants to reach America because you are going to reach America with your phone, with your Smart TV,” he said.

The filmmaker shared how it was his personal journey of faith, marked by a radical encounter with Jesus at a Hillsong United concert in 2013, that profoundly influenced his approach to filmmaking. 

“I didn't think Jesus was real; maybe as real as Santa Claus was,” he said. “I was tricked into going to a Hillsong concert … and they started singing these worship songs, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was home in an arena full of 20,000 people. And I was like, ‘Why am I not depressed anymore?’ All this depression was gone. And I thought, ‘Wait a second, they’re singing about this man named Jesus.’ I started putting two and two together. I was instantly delivered.”

This transformation from skepticism to a fervent belief in Jesus' power has fueled his passion for creating films that point people to Christ. 

"All of these films that I make, it's just an endeavor to point people to Jesus Christ. If it's not doing that, it's all in vain," he said.

“It has no meaning if it's not pointing people to Christ, if it’s not for that, it’ll be burned with the chaff, because the fire comes to everything, to every ministry,” he said. “The fire is going to come, and it's either going to just be burned or it's going to withstand the fire. And the ministries that are going to withstand the fire are the ones who have pure motives that are actually doing it to point people not to themselves, but to Jesus Christ. And that's why I make any film that I make, to point people to Jesus Christ.”

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: leah.klett@christianpost.com

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