.- Mel Gibson spoke with thousands of churchgoers, after screenings of his film “The Passion of the Christ” Feb. 7, and told them that he is not anti-Semitic.
He spoke with the 100 churchgoers of North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona via satellite and with a live audience at Azusa Pacific University in California.
"It's not about the blame game. The whole message is that he (Christ) forgave," Gibson told the people, responding to earlier claims that the film was anti-Semitic.
Gibson’s message to viewers, which included behind-the-scenes footage of the film and interviews with actors and producers, was to encourage the faith community to see the film and bring others with them.
Already, church groups have booked 2,500 theaters across the country, said Paul Lauer, marketing director for Gibson’s Icon Productions. Promotional materials have also been made available to churches and faith groups.
The message seemed to have come across. Robert Rice, 48, said his goal is to get 11 non-believers to watch the film. "It's my job to take people who are lost and show them the true meaning of Jesus Christ," the Baptist church member told the Republic.