Movies that Teach Christian History

Those who cannon remember the past are condemned to repeat it

– George Santayana

With all that’s going in on the present, it’s easy to never look in the past and learn from history. Most children don’t know the sacrifice of the previous generations of Christians to give us the Bible translations and establish the religious freedom in many parts of the world today. The struggle continues in areas like China, North Korea and Iran. These movies provide a window into the past to give a brief taste of the cost of following Jesus, so we don’t take the present for granted.

The Reformation

  • John Wycliffe – The Morning Star: As the first to translate the Bible into English, Wycliffe planted the seeds of the Reformation that would bloom over the following couple of centuries
  • John Hus – A Journey of No Return: The last days of John Hus and earlier translator of the Bible, who faced persecution from the Catholic church
  • Reformation Overview: Six part series in 30 minute increments mixes movie clips with historical context. It covers how the Reformation moved through Europe including segments on John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli, Michael and Margaretha Sattler of the Anabaptists and William Tyndale
  • Luther – The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer: Theologians and historians tell the story of Luther’s life

18th Century

  • Wesley – A Heart Transformed Can Change the World: The founder of the Methodist church’s struggle with faith
  • Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce struggles with the tension of living his faith in a political role and his commitment to eradicating the slave trade in Britain
  • David Brainerd – Missionary to the American Indians: Captures Brainerd’s life and ministry to the Indians, which inspired the ministry of many others in America

19th Century

  • Adoniram and Ann Judson – Spent for God: America’s first missionaries went to Burma and struggled through persecution to translate the Bible and proclaim the Gospel
  • Robber of the Cruel Streets – The Prayerful Life of George Muller: The prayerful life of George Muller who saved thousands of children in England through is orphanage

20th Century:

  • The Printing: Christians in Communist USSR struggle to print and distribute Bibles
  • Tortured for Christ: The story of Richard Wurmbrand pastoring a Lutheran church in Romania during the Communist reign when he was imprisoned and tortured for fourteen years for His faith. The movie graphically depicts torture, so it’s not appropriate for younger children
  • Corrie Ten Boom: The Ten Boom family hid Jews in Nazi occupied Holland before they were caught and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp
  • The Hiding Place: A similar story of the hardships the Ten Boom family faced during World War II
  • Shadowlands: The story of CS Lewis how his struggles to losing his wife to cancer
  • The Fanny Crosby Story: The author of more lyrics than anyone in history, Crosby wrote more than 10,000 hymns
  • A Cry from Iran: Iranian Christians face persecution and death in the hostile Muslim country
  • End of the Spear: Nate Saint and Jim Elliot make the ultimate sacrifice in attempt to evangelize a tribe in Ecuador

Separately, I’ve created a list of other movies with moral themes that aren’t necessarily about Christian history.

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