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Roma Downey, Mark Burnett Named Among Top 10 Christian Leaders in America; Couple Recognized for Reviving Christian Entertainment With 'A.D.'

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey at 'The Bible Experience' opening night gala on March 19, 2013 in New York.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey at "The Bible Experience" opening night gala on March 19, 2013 in New York. | (Photo: The Christian Post / Stoyan Zaimov)

Husband and wife team Roma Downey and Mark Burnett are being recognized on Newsmax's list of top 100 Christian leaders in America this week for their work in television and film, including the hit series "A.D. – The Bible Continues."

Selected based on their ability to "make a real impact on modern lives in 2015," the annual list of Christian leaders celebrates individuals beyond televangelists and pastors. As co-creators of the "Bible" series as well as its NBC spinoff "A.D. – The Bible Continues," Downey and Burnett "have resurrected the Christian entertainment industry," according to Newsmax.

"A.D. – The Bible Continues" premiered on Easter Sunday as the No. 1 television show of the night on the major networks in every key measure — adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54, with over 9.5 million people tuning in. The series also became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter.

In addition to "A.D.," Downey and Burnett co-produced both CBS' "The Dovekeepers" and the upcoming film "Little Boy," which hits theaters on Friday, April 24.

Among other notable Christian influencers named on the top 100 Christian leaders in America list are: Franklin Graham, Joel Osteen, Rev. Billy Graham, and Mike Huckabee. Rounding out the top 10 list are the Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Saddleback's pastor Rick Warren, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., author Joyce Meyer and Christian Broadcasting Network's Chairman Pat Robertson.

Meanwhile, Downey and Burnett's "A.D. – The Bible Continues" picks up right where the "Bible" left off, telling the harrowing yet uplifting journey through the birth of the church. Exploring the first 10 chapters of the book of Acts, the television series depicts the aftermath of Christ's death and its impact on his disciples as well as his mother, Mary, and key political and religious leaders of the time.

The 12-week series airs at 9 p.m. ET each Sunday on NBC. Watch a video about the making of "A.D." below.

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