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The film “Of Gods And Men” opens with a quote on the screen superimposed over a dusky scene of hills and mountains in the distance. The sun is breaking faintly through the clouds on the horizon.

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The monks of Tibhirine were dedicated to making peace. They were indiscriminate peacemakers.

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It is tempting to imagine that, after their gruelling ordeal on Christmas Eve when their monastery was invaded by armed Algerian freedom fighters, the monks of Tibhrine might have taken special measures to insure their safety in the future, or might have been rendered completely inactive by the trauma they had suffered.

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In the letter he writes as the film “Of Gods And Men” nears its heart-breaking conclusion, Brother Luc describes with clear-eyed honesty, the reality of the monks’ situation:

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It may be the most chilling and disturbing line in the film “Of Gods And Men.”

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Of all the monks who struggled with the decision whether to remain in or to leave Tibhirine, in the film “Of Gods And Men,” Brother Christophe wrestled the most.

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Every year for the past three decades on Christmas Day I have read an original Christmas story to the children who join us for worship at our morning service.

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An hour and a half into the two-hour movie, “Of Gods And Men” the monks of Tibhirine gather again to wrestle with their fate.

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Sometimes liturgy puts words in the mouth of the worshiper that are more true than the worshipper himself is aware.

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After an hour and twenty minutes of film time in “Of Gods And Men”, Brother Christophe continues to struggle with the dark destiny that seems to await the monks of Tibhirine.

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