Displaying items by tag: Truth
Justin Welby said, ‘The world is facing a crisis of truth. Claims and counterclaims about the virus, vaccines and the effectiveness of government responses take centre-stage globally. Conspiracy theories circle the globe; misinformation causes repercussions. We need to learn to judge the information we receive, think critically and kindly, and act accordingly.’ There has been a rise in conspiracy theories, anti-vaccination campaigns and growing confusion as people question whether Covid-19 is really a threat. Social media stand accused of spreading misinformation faster than reliable facts and corrections. Is the vaccine safe? Are the statistics accurate? How likely am I to get Covid? The postmodern idea of all truth being relative falls far short of the mark when the truth can save your life.
A star-filled video urging people from ethnic minority communities to get the Covid vaccine is being shown across commercial TV channels amid growing concern that black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities in the UK are less likely to get vaccinated. Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, and Romesh Ranganathan are among the celebrities who feature in the video, which was first released online. More stars have been added to the TV version. The BBC’s charter prevents it from taking part, but the issue was raised on BBC TV and radio programmes on 18 February. The video coordinator said, ‘We are in unprecedented times, and this pandemic disproportionately affects people from ethnic minority communities.’ Fake news about the vaccine, which has been a particular problem in the South Asian community, is addressed in the #TakeTheVaccine video.
Ian Sleeper, a Christian street preacher, was arrested and held for thirteen hours in a police cell after displaying placards depicting love for Muslims and criticising the ideology of Islam. He was released on bail as the CPS could not decide whether to charge him. Strict conditions were imposed, preventing him from going into Southwark. He was on bail for six weeks before the police finally decided to take no further action. He said, ‘It is reassuring that I have not been charged for seeking to expose the truth about Islam. Truth cannot be taken for granted in our modern world, so I will be back out on the street soon.’
The media are unquestionably powerful and influential voices in our culture. They are also a battleground between God’s purposes and Satan’s. In any given situation, Christian voices giving God’s perspective are poorly represented in broadcasting and in print. In an open society it is not the journalist’s job to represent Christian points of view; they just report an analysis of what is heard and seen. Christians have no middlemen, therefore believers in positions of authority need God’s empowering to speak up clearly to the media, declaring Kingdom values. Likewise, Christians working in the media need our prayers for boldness and fresh vision in all that they do and report. Pray for God to use His people to bring about change in media reporting and presenting, ending chronically misunderstood Christian values and spirituality, ending misrepresentation of Christianity in documentaries, ending irreligious literacy in plays and reality programmes. Pray for the media workforces to research basic Christian values and then to represent them truthfully.
(Linda Digby, Prayer Alert team)
When prayer becomes intercession, we need to know what we are interceding for. It sounds simple, but this is one of our greatest challenges in today's society. We are bombarded with information and we often have neither the time nor the ability to check the facts. Even as Christians we can be cocooned in our own cultural, religious or denominational bubble where we only believe what agrees with our own views. As intercessors for Europe, we need to be aware of the realities of what is called a 'post-truth' society, where fake news becomes fact and what is popular and self-satisfying becomes my truth. The good news is that as Christians we have an open heaven and a God who wants to guide and correct us. We can be fervent in prayer as we navigate the minefield of information and opinions out there. We can look outside our bubble.
‘The terror attack on the Christmas market in Berlin has been reported in detail in the media. As well as praying for the bereaved and injured, please pray for the security forces, police, politicians and the justice system to work together for the security of citizens, and to better manage the challenges of tracing those who may be intent on carrying out terror attacks. Pray for God’s wisdom and protection from the rule of fear.’ Also: ‘Post-factual (or Post-truth) stands for a fundamental change in presenting news and information in society. Increasingly political and social discussions are based on emotion rather than facts. An emotional perception of what is real then replaces the factual reality. The “truth” now rests in what everybody is talking about irrespective of the underlying facts. News is increasingly created and spread through social networks. Pray for political leaders to protect citizens from the deliberate manipulation of facts and make the spreading of untrue information a punishable offence.’