GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Christian Examiner) -- Producers of the movie "I Am A Christian," are saying Facebook rejected their attempt to post an ad promoting the feature film which presents the incredible story of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who faced the death penalty for refusing to recant her Christian faith.
The text of the ad invited Christians to change their profile pictures for one week and use an image containing the words "I Am A Christian" and included the challenge to "Stand up and declare Yes, I Am A Christian!!!"
The photo also included a website link, www.YesIAmAChristian.com, and the encouragement to "Join the movement."
The movie's focus is the faith of Meriam Ibrahim who, while pregnant, had been sentenced to death by a Sudanese court on charges of apostasy. She is a Christian as is her mother, but her father, who left the family when Miriam was 6 years old, was a Muslim. Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims and by law, children must follow their father's religion.
Sudan initially blocked Ibrahim from leaving the country even after its highest court overturned her death sentence. At one point, she and her husband, also a Christian, and their family took refuge at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum.
In a press statement, Brian Harrington, a spokesman for the movie group, claimed Facebook sent a message which said the ad was not approved "because it doesn't follow Facebook's Advertising Guidelines for language that is profane, vulgar, threatening or generates high negative feedback.
"Ads can't use language that insults, harasses or demeans people, or addresses their age, gender, name, race, physical condition or sexual preference," the message added, according to Harrington.
He said a subsequent exchange with Facebook evinced a response that said the ad did not conform to Facebook's "language policies."
"We've found that people dislike ads that directly address them or their personal characteristics such as religion.
"Ads should not single out individuals or degrade people. We don't accept language like 'Are you fat?' 'Wanna join me?' and the like. Instead, text must present realistic and accurate information in a neutral or positive way and should not have any direct attribution to people."
The ad draws attention to an effort on Idiegogo.com, a crowdfunding website, to raise $500,000 for the production of the movie. Stacey Dash of Fox News and Kevin Sorbo, star of "God's Not Dead" are identified as the lead actors.