Pastor-Led Documentary Reveals Chilling Reality of Chicago's Hidden War
"I've had to sleep under my bed for the past month and a half because I've lived in fear."
These are words a child should never have to utter, but are commonplace for many in the south side of Chicago, Illinois.
A new documentary, Chicago: America's Hidden War, takes on an insider, war-journalistic approach to understand the origins of gun violence and its lasting impact community-wide, according to a recent Forbes review.
Dimas and Tiffany Salaberrios, pastors of New York-based Infinity Bible Church, headed the project after calling Chicago churches to action in a five-day fast and time of intercession and planning. While Dimas Salaberrios was not able to complete his fast, his powerful stand against gun violence encouraged church leaders and gang members alike to enact change. The documentary follows this story and reflects the revival so desperately needed in the heart of the city.
"Rwanda is happening on American soil; Black people are being murdered," Salaberrios said in a recent interview. "The mission field is now on our soil."
"When you have more people who are dying in Chicago than have died in Afghanistan, then you have a war on your hands," says Pastor Corey Brooks, a prominent figure of the film. He confesses that he's seen the church fail to address this extreme communal need for so long. He laments the lack of attention faith communities have paid toward the growing violence and encourages believers to seek out ways to get involved. Find more information at chicagoshiddenwar.com.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported there were 54 homicides in January 2021 alone, not counting deaths caused by self-defense or those that happened on expressways.
The time is now. The church must bridge the "wide divide." The war must end. "My prayer is that hopefully the church, the body of Christ, can come together," Brooks says. "When the body of Christ comes together, that's when things get better."