Documentary film looks at priests who no longer believe in God.

The Winnipeg-based Zoot Pictures documentary film looks at priests who have lost their religion and now consider themselves atheists
Photo Credit: Zoot Films

Documentary: Clergy who lose their own faith


It’s perhaps surprising that among those who are leaders in religion, the priests and reverends, and preachers, are some who have come to disbelieve.

A new documentary film called “Losing Our Religion” looks at this little known, secretive, issue

Leslea Mair is president of Zoot Pictures, and co-wrote, directed and produced the film

Leslea Mair, president of Zoot Pictures, co-writer,director and producer of *Losing Our Religion
Leslea Mair, president of Zoot Pictures, co-writer,director and producer of *Losing Our Religion* © supplied

Imagine you are so drawn to religion, a belief in Jesus, and God, that go beyond belief and become a teacher, a leader in the community a priest or nun.

Now imagine that somewhere along the way, you question that belief, and end up not believing at all.

These priests live in conflict and personal torment, and threats of losing the only job they know.

The film speaks with several such people in confidence, and with “The Clergy Project” a group designed to help those who have lost faith.

It is highly personal and emotional, and thought provoking look at a very little known and well-hidden issue.

Losing Our Religion-an intimate ad emotionally difficult journey for some preachers who go from deep belief, to atheism
Losing Our Religion-an intimate ad emotionally difficult journey for some preachers who go from deep belief, to atheism © Zoot Film

The film will have limited runs in Toronto at the Imagine Carlton cinemas until Oct 12, then Regina (RPL Film Theatre, Oct. 12-15, and a World Broadcast Premiere on CBC’s documentary Channel Sunday, October 15 at 9 pm ET & 10 pm PT.

Leslea Mair in conversation with a preacher who has struggled with his passage from believer to non-believer. Some still preach, as they know no other career, though it created ddeep inner turmoil
Leslea Mair in conversation with a preacher who has struggled with his passage from believer to non-believer. Some still preach, as they know no other career, though it creates deep inner turmoil © Zoot Pictures

Other showings are planned in several U.S cities later. DVD’s will be available for sale from Zoot Pictures in early 2018.

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5 comments on “Documentary: Clergy who lose their own faith
  1. Rayburne F. Winsor says:

    So, how do we unpack all of this? First of all, as I emphasized above, a candidate to be a pastor or spiritual leader (shepherd) of a Christian congregation or assembly must be called by God, and that, of necessity, means he/she must first be converted to Christ through the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit and faith in Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior from sin (John 1:12-13; 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:9-10). I listened to these “atheist ministers” share their story for over almost 45 minutes. One woman said that she believed the whole core of the Christian faith is to love God and your neighbor as yourself, but she, like most of the others, never mentioned Jesus Christ and the absolute necessity of spiritual transformation of heart and life (Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 5:17 ) through the power of the Holy Spirit and faith in Him (Christ). Another (“atheist minister”) did mention “that Jesus guy” (his exact words), which speaks volumes about whether or not he really knew Christ as his personal Lord and Savior from sin.

    The truth, my friends, is that the more I listened to these “atheist ministers” attempt to explain away (rationalize), the more I do not wonder that there are more “atheist ministers” out there who, quote, “lost their faith” because they truly never possessed genuine saving faith in the first place, What they had was an intellectual faith (head knowledge) without any spiritual change of heart and life; in short, an empty, dead faith (James 2:18, 20).

  2. Penny Trottier says:

    Interesting and very good to see more truths coming out. We are in a world of change and awakening.

  3. Peter Ashcroft says:

    As a practicing Christian, I find this a sobering observation. More detailed questions are being asked these days, and we cannot find the answer. True belief normally transcends understanding as God is so immense, as we can appreciate from the size and complexity of the universe.

    • jim cowan says:

      I find this a cop-out. “True belief normally transcends understanding ” It echoes the situation we have currently with Donald Trump and his doting followers.

      Rather than marvel at the great unknown it seeks to give it a personality. This has to come from fear rather than curiosity and fear makes us do strange things.