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Postcards From Babylon: The American Church in Exile is a long-form documentary featuring author and pastor, Brian Zahnd, as he investigates possibly the most important question for the church in North America today:
How does the church stay faithful to the beautiful way of Jesus while situated in the most powerful empire to exist in human history?
The film, based on his popular book of the same name, begins with Brian some 350 miles into his 500-mile pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. He walks “the Camino” in spiritual pilgrimage as preparation for the mental mayhem of the 2020 US election cycle.
It’s against the backdrop of the elections that Brian exposes how the church in America has succumbed to the seduction of empire and has entangled Christianity with the Red, White and Blue. Prioritizing American Nationalism and partisan political agendas have "Trumped" the way of Jesus.
The parallel between the modern-day United States of America and Biblical Babylon is one that is rarely drawn. Brian exposes the viewer to the culture war antics of evangelicals who rely on fear and scapegoating rather than the disarming qualities of humility, grace and inclusion. Evangelical alliance with American politics is distorting the core message of the cross and damaging the witness of Christ both nationally and internationally.
The film’s crew journeys to places around the United States of America leading them deep into the heart of the story.
John Fea, a History professor at Messiah College, gives his perspective on the history of Christians in America and explains the deep divide in America as Christians take sides in partisan politics.
Jon Huckins, director of The Global Immersion Project, takes a team of people to the San Diego/ Tijuana, Mexico border for a three-day immersion experience. Jon shows how immigration policies are creating harsh and dangerous situations for refugees seeking asylum.
Brian Zahnd sits with Walter Brueggemann as Walter shares concerns for how the evangelical church has been tainted by its proximity to political power.
Mark Galli (former editor of Christianity today) and Napp Nazworth engage in a panel discussion with students at Eastern University on the troubling issues related to journalism and the pursuit of truth for people of faith.
Pete Wehner from the Ethics and Public Policy Center makes his way through the streets of Washington DC pondering the effect of the current state of politics on the emerging generation.
Worship Pastor Daniel Deitrich sings his original song Hymn to the 81%, a heartfelt cry to his white evangelical friends to “come home” to the way of love and justice.
For Zahnd, Donald Trump’s popularity and mostly uncritical support from evangelicals prompts his sense of urgency for this film. “I want my grandchildren to know that during the Trump era I wasn’t duped, I wasn’t silent, and I didn’t go along for the ride. I want them to know that I saw what was happening, I knew it for what it was, and I spoke out.”