New Film on Missionaries in a Time of Genocide


Bob Parham ministers to a crying girl. (Photo: SIM International Archives)

EthicsDaily.com is releasing a new feature-length film on what missionaries did in Nigeria in 1966 during a time of tribal genocide. It is an untold story that is finally getting its due on its 50th anniversary.

Thousands of people, mostly Igbos and Easterners, were brutally killed in a few days in the fall of 1966 in Northern Nigeria. The death toll would have been higher if Christian missionaries and Nigerian pastors had not taken action to save lives.

Their heroic work has been unknown, primarily because those involved never spoke about what happened - using veiled language and euphemisms, such as "the disturbances," in public reports and statements.

Interviewees include missionaries and missionary children with the Assemblies of God, Christian Reformed Church, Church of the Brethren, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Southern Baptist Convention, Sudan Interior Mission and Sudan United Mission, as well as Nigerians.

The producers conducted more than two dozen on-camera interviews, acquired nearly 2,500 documents, slides and photographs, obtained several hours of missionary 8mm and 16mm home movies, worked with roughly a dozen different denominational, educational and filmic archives, and talked to scores of other witnesses.

This is an incredible story about ruin and redemption, blood and boldness, denial and dedication, guilt and goodness. "The Disturbances" is both horrifying and inspiring.

It will better tell about the real and dangerous work of missionaries and create more conversation about contemporary genocide.

Premiere film screenings are scheduled in churches and universities, including Christ Church in Nashville, Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio and Hales Corners Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, as well as Samford and Auburn universities.

For more information visit TheDisturbances.com. Also visit the film's Facebook page and Twitter page. A PDF version of the press release is available here.

EthicsDaily.com, a division of the Baptist Center for Ethics, produced the film.

As a leading producer of faith-based films, EthicsDaily.com's most recent documentary was on prisons and faith - "Through the Door," a title that highlights the gate through which Christians walk to visit those in prison and from which emerge those whom Christians should welcome back into society.

"Gospel Without Borders" explored the plight of the undocumented and what churches were doing to address the immigration issue. Underwritten largely by the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas, it was distributed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to every bishop, encouraging them to use the documentary in their parishes.

The documentary, "Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims," aired on more than 130 ABC-TV stations.

"Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism" won the best documentary award at the International Black Film Festival of Nashville.

Contact Information:

Robert Parham
Executive Editor, Documentary Producer
robert.parham@ethicsdaily.com
615-415-2348

Cliff Vaughn
Media Producer, Documentary Producer
cliff@ethicsdaily.com
615-720-7577

Zach Dawes
Managing Editor
zach.dawes@ethicsdaily.com
615-627-7763

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Tags: EthicsDaily Staff, Genocide, Missions, Nigeria, The Disturbances


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