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‘The Chosen’ Watch Parties Reportedly Cause Ripple Effect in Prisons

By Sylvia St. Cyr
the chosen prison
Jonathan Roumie, second from right, portrays Jesus Christ in the series “The Chosen.” (Photo courtesy of "The Chosen")

Multiple ministries are coming together to offer watch parties of The Chosen in prisons across America. 

Heather Rice-Minus, president and CEO of Prison Fellowship along with the Come and See Foundation are giving inmates access to a show about the life of Jesus Christ, The Chosen

“The Come and See Foundation really wanted to expand their audience to reach everyone with the authentic Jesus from the palace to prison, if you will,” says Rice-Minus. “And, so, we said, ‘Well, we would love to help with that.'”

For prisons with chaplains and ministry programs, the Prison Fellowship is helping set up screenings and make the TV series available on Floodlight, a streaming service set up by the prisons during COVID. 

Last week, the first episodes of The Chosen season four became available to prisons and churches. “For the first time, a full season of The Chosen will be made available to churches and prisons before it starts streaming,” said writer/producer Dallas Jenkins, creator of The Chosen

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the chosen exemption strike
Director Dallas Jenkins, left, and actor Jonathan Roumie, portraying Jesus, discuss a synagogue scene for Season 3 on the set of “The Chosen.” (Photo courtesy of The Chosen)

On March 10, Jenkins stated that some unspecified “legal matters” are currently delaying the streaming release of The Chosen. It has since been reported that the conflict is with Angel Studios, former funding and production partner of The Chosen, and currently a licensee of the series.

“The goal is to have them resolved so that we can, long-term and short-term, better serve you, ensure the show remains free forever and gets to over a billion people, and also allows us to be sustainable forever,” said Jenkins. 

But the streaming delay of The Chosen does not apply to the special nonprofit-based service set-up as a resource to prisons and churches. Details have been released online.

In addition, The Chosen Season 4 has been extended in some theatres across North America during Easter week.A full list of theatres can be found here.

Rice-Minus of Prison Fellowship shares firsthand the effects the show has already had on prisoners. 

“We’ve just been seeing such amazing transformation in the men as a result of the opportunity to see the authentic Jesus. And not only that, to see the people he chose — many lost, the least, and really being able to resonate with the disciples that Jesus chose to be part of the greatest awakening the world’s ever known — and I think they really resonate with that in the position that they’re in.”

She points to the Gospel mission of the series. 

“I look to Hebrews 13, which is ‘remember those in prison as if you were there with them,'” says Rice-Minus. “That’s our call . . . to know that Jesus came for everyone and he especially, as so brilliantly demonstrated in The Chosen series, he especially came for the least and the lost.”

Josh Shepherd contributed to this article, which was originally published at CHVN Radio.

Sylvia St. Cyr is an on-air radio host at CHVN, a Christian outlet in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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2 Responses

  1. Having worked in a detention center for many years, much of it face to face with inmates, I’m all in favor of this project. The Chosen is one of the few Christian productions I give an unqualified Thumbs Up.

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