Heaven is For Real will not be releasing in UK theatres
US churchgoers have been turning out to see the film, but British Christians will have to wait
Heaven is for Real is the latest Bible-related film to get Christians buzzing and after its release to US cinemas last night, it has been given an overwhelming thumbs up from one faith-based entertainment ministry.
A leading Christian entertainment organisation has given Heaven is for Real 4 out of 5 stars in its faith-friendly rating.
Faith Driven Consumer (FDC), which launched the successful 'I Stand With Phil' petition to reinstate Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson following his gay comments, has given the new movie about a 4-year-old's vision of Heaven an enthusiastic four out of five stars in its faith-friendly rating.
The organisation says the film is "biblically-relevant" and suitable for family audiences.
Other categories include entertainment value, "faith-compatible depiction of characters" and "faith compatible depiction of situations", all of which the film scores highly on.
Based on a bestselling book of the same name, Heaven is for Real documents the real-life struggle of a family to come to terms with their young son's near death experience when it challenges their own understandings of life after death.
Four-year-old Colton Burpo was undergoing emergency surgery ten years ago when he claims to have met Jesus, seen angels and watched Mary kneel before the throne of God.
"Heaven is for Real is going to capture the imagination of Faith Driven Consumers, who will likely enjoy this film and urge their friends and family to go see it," explains FDC founder Chris Stone.
"The movie is highly accessibly for both faith and non-faith audiences alike – it has a strong message about heaven and the person of Jesus Christ without being too preachy.
"It is hopeful, entertaining, inspirational and unique...[It] hits that necessary sweet spot for faith audiences, combining a solid biblical message with high production values. We believe this film will perform strongly at the box office and will have a long shelf life with consumers for years to come," he says.
Despite Stone's promise that distributors Sony and TriStar will be "well-rewarded for their investment in this project", the film is not expected to reach audiences outside of the US.
"Heaven is for Real will not be getting a theatrical release in the UK," Sony told Christian Today, although a representative has not yet commented as to why this decision has been made.
Heaven is for Real is out in US cinemas now.