The hottest-selling movie in America today began with an author’s research for an upcoming book about the Nazi Holocaust.

Midway through that project, evangelist Ray Comfort took a temporary U-turn and began working on “180 – a short, fast-paced documentary about Americans’ attitudes about abortion.

It’s all a little confusing – until you view “180 and begin to understand how the phenomenally popular DVD intersects with Comfort’s research for his next book, “Hitler, God and the Bible, coming in February from WND Books.

As for “180,” it has sold 100,000 copies in less than two weeks – many of those to WND readers who learned about it first.

Reactions have been flooding in from around the country and the world.

Ray Comfort

“I watched this today – three times,” wrote Sonya Shirk. “Each time I was overwhelmed with the power of truth. I have shared this everywhere I can think of. I can’t begin to tell you how this video has changed my perspective.”

Added another poignantly, and to the point: “Your film just led a 17-year-old girl away from abortion.”

“I am very thankful for the Internet,” Comfort told WND. “It is so often used for evil, but in this case it is being used for good.”

Comfort said yesterday one church placed an order for 16,000 copies. And, even though the initial order for “180” was 200,000 copies, supplies are short already and new orders for hundreds of thousands of additional copies of the DVD are set for next week.

“Keep in mind that this isn’t a one-minute humorous clip that doesn’t bite into your day. This is a commitment of 33 minutes of intense film, giving the viewer a rollercoaster ride of emotions,” he said.

Wrote one viewer, “It’s so powerful. And although I have thought about abortion and Hitler on a passing note, this really made me think and did change my mind about abortion. I am not Christian or even know if God exists but this really does make you think. Thank you, it could be life-changing.”

An added effect of the video’s success has been to create massive demand for the book that inspired it.

Though “Hitler, God and the Bible” is still months away from release, thousands of copies have already been ordered by consumers and book retailers – including Amazon.

It exposes Hitler’s theology and abuse of religion as a means to seize political power and ultimately instigate World War II and genocide. It mines the depths of Hitler’s beliefs and convincingly argues that without Hitler’s misuse of Christianity, the Third Reich would not have had its terrible rise, resulting in the deaths of millions.

The DVD is also inspiring discussions across the nation on talk shows, chat rooms and on a new forum set up at WND.

But Comfort says “‘180’ wasn’t the video I meant to produce.”

“I decided to go out to the streets with a camera and find out what people believed about Hitler,” he said. “I ended up with 14 people – mainly university students – who had no idea who Adolf Hitler was. This really bothered me, because I believe that when we forget our history we are more apt to repeat it.”

Comfort said his research for the book turned up a recurring theme regarding the Holocaust and the deaths of an estimated 11 million people, including some 6 million Jews: Moral apathy.

“I realized that the same kind of moral apathy that permitted such an incident to take place is still present today when it comes to the matter of abortion,” he said. “While making the video I was amazed at how quickly people did a complete 180 after this connection was pointed out to them in a particularly effective way. They changed from being adamantly pro-abortion to being pro-life in a matter of seconds.”

The name “180” came from just that observation.

“As we watched ‘Steve’ – a proud, Jew-hating, foul-mouthed, anti-black, ‘I hate America’ neo-Nazi atheist with a 14-inch blue Mohawk – do a complete 180 and almost become likeable, it suddenly dawned on us that the same thing happened to most of the people on the video. They were all doing a 180 … their worldviews radically changed,” Comfort said.

The video follows Comfort’s winning formula of colorful, fast paced street interviews popular in the award-winning “Way of the Master” television series.

The series, in its fifth season, is co-hosted by Kirk Cameron and is viewed in 70 countries on 42 networks.

“In ‘180’ we have a nation changer,” says Comfort.

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