Pope Francis prayed for 'Sound of Freedom' prior to film's release

The anti-child trafficking film and summer box office success Sound of Freedom reportedly received support from Pope Francis, who prayed for the project.

Sound of Freedom producer Eduardo Verastegui met with the Pope soon after he began developing the project in 2015 with writer Alejandro Monteverde.

"I had a private audience with Pope Francis and I told him, 'Holy Father we are about to start this project called the Sound of Freedom movie, it's about raising awareness, which is the first step to eradicate child trafficking,'" Verástegui told Newsweek.

He then asked the Catholic leader, "Will you please pray for the people?"

According to Verastegui, Pope Francis said "This is something very important and it's very close to my heart, and I will pray in a special way for this project."

The film had once been owned by 20th Century, but was dropped by Disney when the media giant bought out the studio. The film was eventually put out by Angel Studios after the film received $5 million in crowdfunds.

The film premiered on July 4, and had earned around $174 million in the US as of August 18. This was more than the fifth Indiana Jones installment, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which brought in 172.9 million, and the latest Mission: Impossible film Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, which brought in $160.8 million at the time. The Sound of Freedom became the highest-grossing independent film since 2019.

Speaking with Newsweek after finishing his annual private meeting with the Pope in Rome, Verastegui said, "I told Pope Francis this morning that, 'After working for eight years, the movie came out on July 4 and became the number one movie in America. Thank you for your prayers.'"

"He was very happy to hear about the success of the film and was very happy to hear that this movie is saving lives already, that it's raising awareness worldwide."

Verastegui also reportedly gave Pope Francis a personal copy of the film in his native language of Spanish, to which he promised to view.

The film tells the story of a former government agent, Tim Ballard, who started Operation Underground Railroad, an organization to fight child sex trafficking. It stars Jim Caviezel, who plays Ballard as he embarks on a mission to rescue children.

During a recent interview, the writer and director of the widely acclaimed independent film Sound of Freedom revealed that a sequel might be in the works, which would focus on child sex trafficking in Haiti.

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