How strong is your faith? A review on the controversial Netflix show Messiah

Sculpture of Jesus Christ at the crucifixion. Photo credit: Dalibor Tomic (Flickr)
Sculpture of Jesus Christ at the crucifixion. Photo credit: Dalibor Tomic (Flickr)

The controversy around Messiah has increased up to a point where people are signing petitions to attempt boycotting Netflix. 

Stories based on religious beliefs have been used in the scripts of a number of series and movies. However, the reception of such cinematographic productions have also caused a lot of controversy when they are considered offensive or blasphemous by members of different religions.

The Netflix production Messiah has provoked a lot of controversy. The repercussions about if after being released have even made people sign a petition to boycott Netflix because the content of the show is considered an insult to Christians and Muslims. The petition has now over five thousand signatures.

The series is about a CIA agent Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan) investigating a man called Al-Masih (translating Messiah and also the Islamic version of the Antichrist) who becomes a person of interest because of possible involvement with terrorist activities.

Al-Masih is the target of such investigation due to the attention he starts to get after being considered a divine entity by thousands of followers. However, he is a very mysterious person, which brings about a lot of questions regarding his true identity and intents.

 

“If someone came back claiming to be the messiah, how would the society treat that person?”

Netflix made sure to highlight that the story is not based on real events. However, the name of the series itself and events included in the plot only bring back stories from the Bible or the Koran (books used by Christians and Muslims containing accounts involving Jesus Christ).

Image by John Golden Britt/Netflix

Christianity and Islam claim that the real Jesus Christ should not be portrayed the way he was in the series. Both religions preach about the Son of God that came to Earth over two thousand years ago and became the world’s saviour. Even death couldn’t stop Him from fulfilling God’s plan, which is saving the humankind and giving them a new world and eternal life.

Many people are alleging the show is blasphemous for presenting a fake messianic figure and for being disrespectful to Muslims, especially the ones living in Syria and Palestine, since those are sets of the show. The Royal Film Commission of Jordan called for Ban saying that it “could be perceived as infringing on the sanctity of religion”.

But what is Messiah truly about?

“I don’t really understand why Messiah would create controversy. I don’t think the series is trying to convey a prophetic vision. I think the writer or the producers are asking the question that if someone came claiming to be the messiah, how would the society treat that person? Would they be treated with credulity or would they be treated as fraudulent or charlatans?”, said Andre Venchard, an EFL teacher and a cinephile.

Netflix incited controversy after saying that the series was not based on true events given that several scenes portray similar stories documented in the Bible. It was obvious that the show would create a buzz in religious communities.

It is hard to tell the writer’s true intentions. Nonetheless, people cannot blame Netflix for threatening their faith because of a fictional show.

If you are still wondering if Al-Masih could be the real messiah, take a look at how the sacred scriptures reveal about Jesus Christ’ second coming:

“Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him. Even so, Amen”. (Revelation 1:07).

The cinema is always portraying characters based on the bible or other religious texts. It is important to remember that, no matter what they say, you should trust in your beliefs and live a life that you have chosen to live; respecting each other and preserving the peace.

About Betia Rodrigues 5 Articles
A Brazilian journalist living in Ireland. Currently finishing a master's in Journalism and Media Communications at Griffith college. Passionate about writing, producing videos and languages.