A film based on the experiences of Meriam Ibrahim, who was accused of apostasy and sentenced to death in Sudan last year, is to be made if its promoters can get the funding they require.
Fundraising for 'I am a Christian' – the title is taken from her words when she was asked to deny her faith – has begun on the IndieGoGo website.
It is not clear who is behind the project launched by Christian Lives Matter, described as a faith/family film company. Meriam Ibrahim's consent for the film is not a legal requirement but spokesman Brian Harrington told Christian Today that the promoters were "working on talking to her".
The website says that it is being made as an explicitly Christian film because "Hollywood" would not tell her story accurately. Furthermore, it says: "In return for your help, we would like to give something back. 40 per cent of the film's gross earnings will be donated to Judeo/Christian charities working to fight religious persecution worldwide, and, a full 10 per cent will go to Meriam and her family to provide life and hope for their future. We dare any Hollywood studio to make the same offer."
Among those lined up to take part in the film are Rachel Hendrix, who starred in the pro-life Christian film October Baby, Ben Davies, star of Courageous, about four police officers struggling with their faith and their work, actress and Fox News contributor Stacey Dash and Kevin Sorbo, star of God's Not Dead.
Investors are invited to contribute sums from $5 to $50,000, with incentives offered for different donations: a $2,500 gift gets 10 donors a poster signed by the cast and crew, while for $8,000 10 donors receive a set visit for two. For $12,500 three donors can be actors in the movie, while for $50,000 a single donor can be named as an executive producer.
The target figure is $500,000 – a tiny figure on which to make a feature film. However, the promoters point to the box-office success of small-budget Christian films and argue that 'I am a Christian' could make money too: "For example, Fireproof was shot with a budget of just half-a-million dollars, yet it had a box office gross of over 33 million! God's Not Dead was made for only 2 million, yet it made over 63 million at the box office! We believe that I Am A Christian has the potential to do just as well."
Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging in Sudan in May 2014. Though she was brought up as a Christian, she was found guilty of converting from Islam and was also accused of adultery after marrying a Christian man – a union deemed invalid under Sharia law.
She was forced to give birth to her daughter, Maya, in chains while in Khartoum prison and – despite terrible treatment – refused to renounce her religious faith. She was later released following international outcry and has moved, with her husband and two children, to the US.