May 2017 – According to research by the Barna Group, Americans are split over Hollywood’s portrayal of Christianity in film.
In a study conducted in February 2017, Barna Group found 11% of the general adult population saw Christianity portrayed in a generally negative light, with 13% saying the portrayal is generally positive. Fifteen percent said Hollywood was neutral toward Christianity, 22% said they were not sure, and 28% said the portrayal was mixed.
Twenty percent of practicing Christians (who self-identify and attend church at least once a month) and 40% of evangelicals (who meet nine specific theological criteria) were more likely to say Christianity was portrayed negatively by Hollywood than the 11% general populace.
The study also showed that only 5% of American adults say they have watched a movie that caused them to change something they believe about Christianity. However, 16% said a certain movie has made them think more seriously about religion, spiritual things, or religious faith.
Christianity plays a central theme in at least two popular releases – Hacksaw Ridge and Silence. However, 2016’s most popular movie was Deadpool, rated R for over-the-top violence, sexually explicit nudity, and numerous instances of excessive profanity, including the improper use of the name of Christ.