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Published: April 2, 2019

How I Can Only Imagine Smuggled the Gospel into China

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How I Can Only Imagine Smuggled the Gospel into China

The faith-based hit film I Can Only Imagine grossed more than $83 million in the United States, but its impact around the world may have been even greater.

Director Jon Erwin says more than 100 countries – including China – have paid to distribute and in some cases translate the films made by him and his filmmaking brother, Andrew.

“When a movie is a hit in America… it goes on global autopilot,” Jon Erwin told an audience at the National Religious Broadcasters convention March 27. “So all these countries around the world begin to pay you for the right to translate and distribute your movie. So it’s the gospel on for-profit autopilot.”

Even China, which has shut down churches, torn down crosses, and threatened to eliminate Christianity, wanted to show I Can Only Imagine – simply because it was a hit. 

“I find it very interesting that in the same year that China actually restricted… Christianity, they paid for I Can Only Imagine,” Jon Erwin said. “They paid for the right to translate it and distribute it to their people. That’s happened in over 100 countries around the world with our films. 

“What happens is, when you watch a movie in America, and you buy your ticket, and that movie becomes a hit, you’re pretty much guaranteed 10 people around the world are going to see it on your behalf because of these incredible things called output deals. And, in fact, there’s a lot of places

The remainder of this article is available in its entirety at Christian Headline


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