Roma Downey's new film 'Faithkeepers' chronicles brutal suffering of Mideast Christians

Roma Downey has produced a new film titled "Faithkeepers" which chronicles first-hand accounts of Middle Eastern Christians' tales of horror including the brutal killings, rape, physical abuse and imprisonment that they face because of their faith.

(REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni)Executive producer Roma Downey and her husband producer Mark Burnett pose at the premiere for the movie 'Ben-Hur' at TCL Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California U.S., August 16, 2016.

"Faithkeepers" aims to raise awareness among American Christians about what their Middle Eastern counterparts are experiencing. Producer Paula Kwesin, who is also a human rights lawyer, told The Christian Post that they started making the movie before the Islamic State rose to power in 2014 and started committing atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

"We started to research and were planning to talk about how Christians in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran are struggling all the time and then in the midst of production, all of sudden, things got worse. I mean, much, much worse," Kwesin told the Post on May 9. "Eventually, what was happening to Christians over the last few years because of ISIS can be called a genocide. We certainly never expected for things to get as bad as they did."

In addition, Kwesin said "Faithkeepers" documents stories of persecution of at least 12 Middle Eastern Christians. Statements from U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf, Iraqi Christian Relief Council founder Juliana Taimoorazy, and other religious freedom advocates are also included in the movie.

For Kwesin, it is important that Christians in the West do something to preserve the existence of the Christian community in the Middle East. She said someday, the next generation will be questioning why they let the persecution go on and what they did to help.

Faith-based films are nothing new to Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, who are the producers of the hit miniseries "The Bible."

Last year, Downey described another faith-based film that they had produced. She said "Ben-Hur" is a story of redemption, forgiveness, and reconciliation between the two main characters because of Jesus Christ. ABC News reports.

"Faithkeepers," premiers in churches across the U.S. on May 23.