Religious leaders say Pope Francis has quietly started a new era in relations between the Roman Catholic Church and Pentecostals.
The Pope recorded an iPhone video in January on the phone of a clergy friend with ties to the Pentecostal movement.
The pope’s friend then played the video for Pentecostal pastors in Texas and the greeting went viral.
For years, Pentecostal movements have been gaining parishioners from the Catholic Church, especially in Latin America.
But in the video, Francis calls the Pentecostal pastors his brothers and says they should work together for Christian unity.
One Pentecostal leader says that small gesture did more to heal the rift than the past four decades of dialogue.
Together, Pentecostals and Charismatics comprise about one-quarter of the world’s 2 billion Christians.
In other faith news, the movie Heaven is for Real opens next week.
The film tells the true story four-year-old Colton Burpo who had a near death experience in the operating room.
He later told his parents that he had been to heaven and revealed things about deceased relatives that his parents had never told him.
Film producer Devon Franklin says they found the perfect actor to play the part of Colton, Connor Corum from Ohio.
Mr. Franklin says, “He had never acted a day in his life. The odds of finding a five-year-old kid to play Colton was not in our favor, but God really sent Connor to us.”
The film also stars Greg Kinner as Colton’s father. It opens this Wednesday.
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