SIGNIS World Congress 2014. Media for a Culture of Peace: Creating Images with the New Generation. Christians in the Middle East. Jacques F. El Kallassi Tele Lumiere / Noursat Wednesday 26/2/2014. Facts & Challenges.
SIGNIS World Congress 2014 Media for a Culture of Peace: Creating Images with the New Generation
Christians in the Middle East
Jacques F. El Kallassi Tele Lumiere/Noursat Wednesday 26/2/2014 Facts & Challenges
The Middle East is the land of:1. Civilization & different cultures2. Fascinating & captivating history3. Diversity of religious denominations BUT…
The dilemmas we are facing today in the Middle East are an extension of the main problem: WE ARE NOT ABLE TO LIVE TOGETHER - Neither between religions- Nor inside the nations- Nor between the countries
Our Middle East is experiencing fundamental changes in its socio- economic-political structure ever…
To start with, I am sure you know that:All the constitutions in the ME region (with the exception of Lebanon)include a clear clause stipulating:1. “Islam is the state religion”2. “The primary religion of the state is Islam”3. “Sharia is a source of the state's legislation, laws and regulations.” Or/and Or/and
From that emerges a never ending series of divisions, persecutions and sufferings… Same ongoing story since 2000 years…
Arab Christians find themselves the target of constant harassmentfor no reason other than their religious faith.
From Sudan, to Nigeria, to Egypt to Iraq, to Iran, to Syria, to Turkey to Yemen….. Christian minorities are living with permanent fear…
* Fear of a darker tomorrow
* Fear to speak-up
* Fear of threats & provocations
* Fear of Muslim fundamentalists
* Fear of Muslim terrorists
* Fear of a religious media war
* Fear of forced migration
We Have been saying/ singing/ praying "Peace on Earth" for 2000 years
We have been greeting each other with AssalamouAlaykom“Peace be with you” for 1400 years السلام عليكم
But 1000 persons fall victims to killings & wars everyday in the Middle East…
No need to remind you that 1213 Syrian Christians were martyred in 2013
No Need to remind you that Priests, Bishops & nuns were kidnapped
& some were brutally killed
No Need to remind you that many Christians in the ME do not dare to wear the Cross in public
No need to remind you that one million Christians have disappeared from Iraq
No need to remind you that half a million of Christians have left Syria
No need to remind you that hundreds of Christians died in revenge of the Prophet cartoons
No need to remind you that hundreds of Christians died in revenge attacks following the wars in Afghanistan
A pivotal question arises at Noursatlive talk shows or in the viewers’ questions:Why isn't the West outraged???
The only reaction we have seen is when French President, German Chancellor, and British Prime Minister declared that multiculturalism has failed…
Why do most of the West NOT realize that the Islamic worldwas the Christian world once????
We do not want to play the victims’ role, or weep and cry…
We do not want to blame the West for not defending the Christian minority of the East
All we want is to show the world that we are not a minority… We are a majority belonging to a Universal Church of 2.5 billion Christians around the globe.
Moreover, we do not want our Churches and convents to become old history museums…
We do not want to appear one day in a TV program, called “vanishing civilizations”
We have a natural right to preserve our heritage, culture, history and religious traditions.
It is not by chance that we are born in the Middle East. Jesus wanted us there because we have a role to play…
I am afraid time will come, same will happen in the west…
Don’t be surprised…
Be surprised when you listen to the Christian leaders of this world speak about PEACE, while …they know NOTHING about the Prince of Peace, Jesus-Christ…and the Christian values
One of the most revolutionary expressions ever said:“Love your enemies…”
We cannot celebrate the Lord of love without resolving to be more like Him…
The risk in not acting is much greater than the risk in acting
In December 2010, a young Tunisian, Abu Azizi, a street vendor, burned himself to death…His action triggered a series of events that did not settle yet…
TVs and Social Media played a decisive role in spreading the so-called “Arab spring” by showing the “Power of Images”…
It is true that media has an important role to play… and that should be through…
Creating images and stories for peace, to give people opportunities to see that living together is possible.
Creating images that respect the values and traditionswill strengthen inter-cultural and inter-religious UNDERSTANDING
Creating images that determine responsibilities giving those who have been silenced, access to media in order to make their voice heard.
Creating images that can sow love, harmony, solidarity, and hope…will enable people to be more aware of each other, and to respond to the threats of life.
Creating images that can help the Christian become a better Christian and the Muslim become a better Muslimand the Jew become a better Jew
TV still remains the most important source of news and information in most of the Arab countries.
The Middle East & North Africa consists of a population of 360 million in 24 Arab speaking countries50% of that population are youth below the age of 18.60% of that population are youth below the age of 21.
In the past:- The youth was considered as not having any role in the society.
Today:- The youth is building up the countries again…
Media is responsible in helping the youth build bridges of understanding and tolerance.
Media is responsible in helping the youth find “joy” again and acquire the capacity of knowing the difference between Good and Evil.
The main & unique gate towards change and prosperity passes through MEDIA and images TVs are moving societies…
The Christian Media is a guarantee for moderate images
There is an absolute necessity to a media strategy for the Christian- Jewish-Muslim relations
We need images that show religion is a peace-making mean
We need images that does not pour oil on fire
We need an interactive media that creates a climate in which most people will motivate themselves to exchange experiences, and learn from each other…
The world is changing too fast to rely on old solutions, and it is useless to run if we are on the wrong road…
Accept the challenges Do the impossible God is always next to the strongest battalion
In fact, with small and simple changes in your media strategy you can make a tremendous difference in the societies around you.
Few hours per week or per month is all it takes to make a difference in your Church, in your community, in your country and in the countries around you
Governments, leaders of this world, and wise people can no longer claim that they did not know, or they did not see
Media of today is showing images of hunger, war, persecutions, sufferings, diseases… in our living rooms
Broadcasting the "Good News"through positive images, is a step towards creating a domino effect to millions of individuals who will start making a difference themselves too
Vaccinate your TVs with spiritual programs and Strengthen "a dialogue of experiences" including religious experiences
In fact through its portal, live streaming and social media…
And through specialized channels launched during the last two years… Nour News 24/24 Christian News and Documentaries Nour al Kodass 24/24 Masses
Tele Lumiere & Noursat became a daily bread and hope for the Christian minority in the Middle East, as well as a source for 17 million viewers from different religions & denominations.
Noursathas become the link to a Universal Church
Noursathas become a tool of unity among all Churches
Noursat has become the echo of all Churches in the West and East and that of the emigrated Arabs.
It is true that there is no success without the help of God but remember that God needs your help to succeed in His Salvation project
Do not fear for the Christians if they leave the Middle East…
Fear for the Middle East if the Christians leave it…