Skip to content

A Deep Dive into the Christian Reform Schools: Kidnapped For Christ

Kidnapped For Christ exposes the harrowing reality of Christian reform schools, offering a chilling look at how faith can be twisted into a tool for coercion and control.

Keywords: , Christian reform schools, child abuse, faith, coercion, discipline, religious practices. Three Words: , Disturbing, Eye-opening, Thought-provoking.


"Kidnapped For Christ" is a powerful and thought-provoking 2014 documentary directed by Kate Logan. The documentary provides a chilling glimpse into the dark side of Christian reform schools, focusing on the harrowing experiences of teenagers who try to cling onto their faith amidst an oppressive system. In today's world where the rights of children are paramount, this film raises pertinent questions about faith, coercion, and the blurred lines between discipline and abuse.


"Kidnapped For Christ" tells the disturbing story of several teenagers who are taken from their homes under the guise of religious discipline and sent to a Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic. As the story unfolds, the audience is exposed to the harsh realities of these reform schools, where physical punishment and psychological manipulation are the norm.

More Film Analysis



This documentary employs an investigative approach, shedding light on a largely unexplored issue. Logan's research is thorough and her exploration of the subject is deep, giving viewers an uncomfortable insight into the oppressive nature of these institutions. The presentation style is raw and gritty, adding to the overall impact of the film.

Historical and Factual Context


Christian reform schools, also known as "troubled teen" programs, have been a controversial part of America's education system since the 1970s. These institutions operate on the premise of using strict discipline and religious teachings to "correct" behavioural issues in teenagers.

Key themes in the film

  • The misuse of religion for coercion and control
  • The vulnerability of youth and the importance of safeguarding their rights
  • The blurred lines between discipline and abuse

Film Comparisons

While "Kidnapped For Christ" shares thematic similarities with documentaries such as "Jesus Camp", it offers a much more harrowing and personal account of the experiences within Christian reform schools.

Noteworthy Moments

One of the most impactful moments in the documentary is when a former student recounts the physical and psychological abuse he endured, challenging viewers to question the morality of these institutions.


The film was well-received by critics and audiences alike for its brave exploration of a controversial subject. The Hollywood Reporter praised it as a "compelling expose" of Christian reform schools.


"Kidnapped For Christ" is a vital documentary that brings to light the hidden horrors of Christian reform schools. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in children's rights, religious practices, and the power dynamics within educational institutions.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
  • Metacritic score: N/A
  • Film festival awards: 3 wins & 1 nomination



  • Kate Logan, Director
  • David, a teenager sent to the reform school
  • Tai, a Chinese-American student caught in the system



  • Dominican Republic, where the reform school is located
  • United States, the home country of the students

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  • What are the ethical implications of using religion as a tool for discipline?
  • How can we protect vulnerable children from such abusive practices?
  • Should these reform schools be allowed to operate?


I wonder what the film would be in another art form

Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
  1. A famous book, it would be "1984" by George Orwell, as it highlights the oppressive system and the struggle for personal freedom.
  2. A famous song, it would be "Blowin' in the Wind" by Bob Dylan, as it questions the societal norms and injustice.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be Picasso's "Guernica," which symbolizes the horrors of war and the innocent suffering.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Malala Yousafzai, who stood up against oppressive systems for the right to education.
  5. A colour, it would be grey representing the grim reality of these institutions.
  6. A music style, it would be the blues, reflecting the sadness and struggles of the students.

Watch Kidnapped For Christ - Streaming Online | iwonder (Free Trial)
Exposing the dark side of Christian reform schools, this film details the experiences of several teenagers who struggle to retain their faith in the face of an oppressive system.