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Another Rebuttal to the Notion that Hollywood Isn't Interested in Marketing Christian Films "

There's also money. The literary world has been reaping profits for decades with religious fare. The biblical "Left Behind" novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, for example, have racked up sales of more than $650 million and spawned four movies.

But it wasn't until "Passion" arrived in theaters in February 2004 that major studios saw their own stairway to financial heaven.

Before Mel Gibson's telling of the Crucifixion, "we all knew we had a lot to learn about this market, which was obviously underserved," says Steve Feldstein of 20th Century Fox's new division, Fox Faith.

The department markets the studio's DVDs and feature films to hundreds of pastors nationwide. The studio offers churches trailers, posters and even Bible study guides for its Christian-based home videos.

As "Passion" marched to more than $370 million in North America, "it gave us all our MBA's pretty quickly," Feldstein says. Executives discovered that a thumbs-up from a pastor could go further than from a film critic and that word of mouth spreads pretty quickly in a church, he says. "For many families, church isn't just somewhere you go to pray," he says. "It's a social venue. There's more opportunity for discussion of things beyond just faith.""

See, the funny thing about this discussion is that it proves, to me at least, how fundamentalists spin the facts in order to make religion seem more oppressed and denigrated than it really is.