'Heaven Is Real': Hit Movie Claims Boy, 4, Met Jesus During Near-Death Experience

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

'Heaven Is For Real': Hit movie claims boy, 4, met Jesus during near-death experience

A controversial movie about a four-year-old boy who claims to have met Jesus is to be shown in British cinemas.

Heaven Is For Real tells the story of American Colton Burpo, who insists he met his dead grandfather and the Virgin Mary in heaven during a near-death experience while he was having surgery for a burst appendix.

He also claimed he sat at Jesus' knee and rode a rainbow-coloured horse while being serenaded by angels singing Jesus Loves You.

The film has been a huge hit in the States since it opened at Easter, raking in £13.4 million.

But the movie, based on the best-selling book of the same name, written by Colton's dad Todd Burpo, has faced a backlash, with one reviewer writing: "Only in America could a book like this be classified as non-fiction."

The Burpo family, (L to R) Sonja, Cassie, Todd, Colton and Cole (front) attend the Dallas International Film Festival World Premiere of TriStar Pictures' 'Heaven Is For Real' at Cinemark West Plano, April 10, 2014 in Plano, Texas.

Mr Burpo has always stood by his son's visions. He said: "Colton knew things that no four-year-old could have known, things no Sunday School teacher would have taught him.

"This is not a Christian film with a whitewashed easy story where everything turns out fine and life is easy. This is our real life. It's not fiction at all, this is real and I want people to know that and be given hope".

Colton is undeterred by the scepticism and insists he died and went briefly to heaven while doctors fought for his life.

He said of the film: "They do a good job but they haven't experienced it like I have. Heaven is just so much better than that."

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