‘The Chosen’ Transforms Inmates Lives in Prisons Across America

“The Chosen” is changing inmates’ lives, bringing the Gospel message to a population desperately needing hope and transformation. Heather Rice-Minus, president and CEO of Prison Fellowship, a ministry serving the incarcerated and their families, recently explained the impact of the Bible-inspired TV series on prisoners. Rice-Minus said the Come and See Foundation, the group responsible for trying to get “The Chosen” in front of one billion people, has joined forces with her organization. “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,” she said. “And, so, we said, ‘Well, we would love to help with that.’” Prison Fellowship has been working to set up screenings at facilities where the ministry has chaplains and programs. The organization has also made “The Chosen” available on Floodlight, a streaming platform Prison Fellowship created for outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rice-Minus explains: “The chaplains are able to set up their own screenings if they want … inside facilities,” Rice-Minus said of the digital offering. “We also have several hundred prisons where Prison Fellowship runs in-person programming, and so, in some of those facilities, we’ve been able to set up special screenings and watch parties of ‘The Chosen.’” Rice-Minus shared some of the specific ways the series has impacted lives, citing the Carol S. Vance Unit, a Texas prison where inmates undergo a “year-long transformation process” to dig into the issues that landed them in jail. The show has helped them connect the dots and dig deeper into faith. “We’ve just been seeing such amazing transformation in the men as a result of the opportunity to see the authentic Jesus,” she said. “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.”

Rice-Minus hopes the partnership will help inmates who don’t yet have a relationship with Jesus learn more about cultivating a true faith. “The story of ‘The Chosen’ focuses on who Jesus chose … and he chooses all of us,” she said. “But he especially hones in on the people in that time who we’re seeing at the margins of society … people perhaps no one else wanted to be with.” Rice-Minus said inmates today are often overlooked and forgotten and fit that same category. Ultimately, she wants to encourage believers to engage with the prison population and said “The Chosen” is just one tool making that possible. “I look to Hebrews 13, which is ‘remember those in prison as if you were there with them,’” Rice-Minus said. “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.” Despite challenges delaying the streaming release of the latest season, “The Chosen” season four will be making its way into prisons through Prison Fellowship and will also head to churches.

Source: Faithwire

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