Perfect Love Drives Out Fear
Anna, a young slave girl, is rescued and adopted by Christians in second century, Smyrna, and befriended by their aged bishop, Polycarp. As Anna is taught by Polycarp and her new family, she struggles to reconcile her beliefs with those of the Christians. When the Roman Proconsul demands that all citizens worship Caesar to show their allegiance to Rome, Polycarp and the Christians in Smyrna must find courage to stand for their Faith against the growing threat of persecution. Anna is forced to come to grips with the Truth and choose whom she is willing to live for, and die for.
Redeemed from Slavery
This inspiring film is based on the true story, and historical accounts, of the lives of Polycarp, Germanicus and Irenaeus, seen through the eyes of Anna, a young slave girl who is redeemed by a community of Christians, in second century Smyrna.
In the Shadow of Death
The film begins with gladiatorial sports in the arena. Christians are being dragged out of dungeons and led into the arena. As a young girl is left distraught in the dungeon as her mother is wrenched away from her by Roman soldiers, a woman seeks to comfort her by relating what happened eight years earlier in a slave market of Smyrna.
Anna was redeemed by Christians in Smyrna and welcomed and adopted into their Christian family. As she was taught by the aged bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp, Anna is confused. "I don't believe in the gods!" She declares. "I don’t believe in the gods either", comes the reply. "There is a God who answers prayer."
People are shown burning incense before an image of Caesar and declaring: "Caesar is lord." Tremendous pressure is brought to bear on individuals to participate in this statism. When Polycarp is threatened by a centurion to persuade the people, he responds: "I will persuade them… to worship the one true God and to worship Him alone!"
Anna asks: "What makes your God any more real than his gods?" Justin replies: "A good question. Their gods have eyes but they cannot see, ears, but they cannot hear, mouths, but they cannot speak. God made your ears and He can hear your prayers."
Anna doesn't understand how God can love us. Polycarp explains how he had been a slave and he had been purchased and set free by a Christian. He had the privilege of studying under the Apostle John. "If it were not for God's love, I would not be here, and neither would you."
Germanicus resists pressure to burn incense before a statue of Caesar: "We must honour Caesar, but not worship him." The proconsul declares: "There is no one more powerful on earth than Caesar!"
One parent declares: "There are no traitors in my house," and he compels his Christian son to burn incense and declare that Caesar is Lord. "In Rome they are crucifying these types, or feeding them to the lions - perhaps we should do the same."
It is a Privilege to Suffer for Christ
Polycarp responds to warnings that they intend to kill him: "If that is true, I shall receive a great honour – to share in the sufferings of Christ." Anna is horrified and confused by this attitude of Polycarp.
Germanicus is ashamed when he ran away from the intimidation to worship Caesar. Ashamed, he declares: "I don't deserve His grace!" Polycarp, replies: "None of us do. That is why it is grace."
When Germanicus is arrested for "high treason" and "blasphemy against the gods", Anna is distraught: "I don't see God's love in this!"
Polycarp tells her: "One cannot truly live until he knows what he's willing to die for." The persecution escalates. Polycarp and Anna flee from the city. A reward is offered for the capture of Polycarp. He chooses to go back and declares: "It is time for me to make my stand."
Destroyer of gods
The Proconsul accuses Polycarp of being an atheist and "a destroyer of our gods!" This inspiring film based on the historic account of the life of Polycarp, one of the early Church-Fathers, challenges Christians in all generations to stand boldly for the Gospel in the face of persecution.
Ken Ham, of Answers in Genesis, declares: "Because Christianity is increasingly under attack in our secularised Western world, Polycarp is a 'must watch' for every Christian."
The Kendrick brothers (Producers of Courageous, Fireproof and Facing the Giants), endorse Polycarp as: "…a moving story of second century persecution, reminiscent of the persecution many believers face today."
Ray Comfort of Way of the Master recommends the film in these words: "Polycarp is a God-honouring, Christ-centered, and moving story that will make you want to run with the Divine message, while we still have the God-given liberty."
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