Friday, June 15, 2012

Machine Gun Preacher the True Story

Gerard BUTLER STARS in the TRUE story of one man’s mission to save the chilDREN FROM joseph kony’s lord’s resistance army
Meet the Real Sam Childers, Founder of the Angels of East Africa,
On Blu-ray and DVD 

Gerard Butler (300) delivers a blazing performance as Sam Childers, the impassioned biker and ex-criminal turned crusader in MACHINE GUN PREACHER from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.  From Golden Globe® nominated director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball), MACHINE GUN PREACHER is the moving true-life story of discovery and redemption as Sam Childers takes up the fights for the children of East Africa and their freedom from Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  

Most recently in the media, the “Kony 2012” video detailing the massive injustices against the orphaned children of East Africa took the world by storm and the campaign caused a massive social media buzz. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the backstory behind Joseph Kony’s Lord of Resistance Army and the impact fighters like Sam Childers have had in saving the children of East Africa.


The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was formed in 1987 is a violent rebel group led by a self-proclaimed messiah, Joseph Kony. The fight between the Ugandan government and the LRA is one of the longest running conflicts in Africa, and the LRA is one of the most brutal forces in the world, known for targeting innocent civilians, perhaps most notably children that they kidnap or recruit and train to fight within their army. The LRA first originated in Northern Uganda and has since spread to South Sudan and the Central African Republic. They have been accused of brutal acts and widespread human rights violations, including murder, kidnapping and sexual slavery. The LRA and Kony is deemed as one of the terrorist group by the US.


Born in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1962, Sam Childers is a man with a dark past who underwent a huge transformation – converting to Christianity in 1992 and ultimately dedicating his life to the fight against the killing and enslavement of innocent children in East Africa. A former biker gang member, armed guard for drug dealers and alcoholic, Sam Childers first visited Sudan in 1998 following a prophesy from his Pastor 6 years earlier that he would go to Africa.

His experience in Sudan and his return several months later, eventually resulted in Sam’s believe that God wanted him to build an orphanage in the village of Nimule on the Ugandan border – an area being laid waste to by the LTA.

While the orphanage began to take shape, Sam’s home life in Pennsylvania began falling apart and his wife and daughter who remained there fault battles of their own.  Sam’s car was repossessed and a foreclosure notice was issued on his house.  Without enough money to finish the orphanage and page the outstanding mortgage, Sam chose to finish the orphanage.

On completion of the orphanage Sam began to lead armed missions to rescue children from the LRA. As tales of his exploits spread, villagers began to call him “The Machine Gun Preacher.”

Angels of East Africa is a non-profit aid organization founded by Sam Childers in 1998 to provide a better future for orphaned children of war in southern Sudan.

As part of this mission The Children’s Village orphanage was created, the largest in Southern Sudan, which has fed and housed over 1,000 children. Today, more than 200 children call the orphanage home.

The orphanage is run and secured by a team of Sudanese Staff, many of whom are orphans or widows themselves, and the grounds are patrolled 24 hours a day by a group of combat veterans called the SPLA (Sudanese People’s Liberation Army)

KONY 2012

Kony 2012 is a short film created by the Invisible Children Charity, which was released on March 5.  The film is part of the charity’s “Stop Kony” campaign, which aims to drive awareness of the crimes committed by LRA leader Joseph Cony with the purpose of seeing his arrest.

The film was a huge viral success with over 90 million YouTube views to date, however some questioned the timing of the film suggesting that it simplified the issues in Central Africa by blaming one man and that the film could do more harm than good.  Concerns were also raised about aiming a spotlight at Kony when covert operations were apparently already underway to capture him. 

Despite the controversy, many celebrities as well as a White House spokesman,  congratulated the film-makers on their efforts and a follow-up video titled Kony 2012: Part II – Beyond Famous was released in April.

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