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In recent years, religious liberty has been the topic of much debate and discussion. In fact, the Barna Group released a report showing that concerns over religious freedom in America have grown significantly. From overt questions about the right to worship, to people upset about coffee cups they felt didn’t represent the Christmas holiday, the conversation has often been heated.
|The Arch of Constantine in Rome, Italy—erected by the Roman senate to celebrate Constantine’s reign and his triumph over his predecessor Maxentius—still stands today.
Starting April 28, through a four-part event called Shadow Empire, churches across North America will explore this fascinating subject as revealed through the Bible, in addition to a source that illustrates the topic perfectly: the life of the Emperor Constantine.
This series, hosted by Voice of Prophecy Speaker/Director Shawn Boonstra, will take a documentary-style, Bible-based approach to this topic. Boonstra recently traveled to countries such as Serbia, Italy and Turkey to make history come to life and reveal little-known details about this intriguing historical figure. Boonstra was even granted rare access to a major archeological dig site, on the location believed to be one of Constantine’s homes.
It’s the story of an unlikely emperor born out of wedlock and into poverty, who rose to power against staggering odds, and whose legacy has endured for centuries. The story of the costs and sacrifices made in the name of religious freedom will approach his life from a new angle.
"This series will be an honest examination of church history in the light of Bible prophecy, and it will answer many questions people have today," said Pastor Boonstra. "By simply taking a fascinating trip into the past, the world we live in now will suddenly make a lot more sense."
| ||Shawn Boonstra (with Shadow Empire Director Terry Cantrell and Director of Photography Paul Zenk) gets ready to shoot a scene along the Tiber River, just below the Milvian Bridge in Rome, Italy. Constantine’s decisive victory at this site paved the way for him to become sole ruler of the empire.|
This series will address questions such as:
• Was the marriage of Constantine’s government with Christianity a good thing for Christians?
• Why did the early Christians have so much trouble fitting in?
• Did Bible prophecy really predict that the government would persecute the church?
• Was it a good idea for the Roman emperor to step in and try to solve the internal disputes within the church?
• If Christians really are Jesus’ followers, then why do they still have disputes?
Shadow Empire will involve both documentary-style and live elements. All are welcome to attend this free event. "During Shadow Empire, you will learn how Constantine’s impact continues to echo through the lives of every person on earth today,” said Pastor Boonstra. "I hope you will join us for this intriguing study!"
Topics will include: "The Rise of the Early Church," "The Persecution of the Church," "A Marriage of Church and State" and "Constantine’s Christianity."
Shadow Empire will begin Thursday, April 28. Learn more, watch the trailer, and find the location by you by visiting www.shadowempire.com.
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| ||Voice of Prophecy Speaker/Director Shawn Boonstra reviews a Shadow Empire script in Niš, Serbia, the city where Constantine was born.
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