Displaying items by tag: Media
The Jesus Revolution film is coming to Netflix on 31 July, allowing thousands more the opportunity to hear the gospel. It was released in February, earning $52 million in theatres, remaining in the top ten for several weeks. In April it became number one best seller on Amazon Prime, Blu-ray and DVD charts. It tells the true story behind the Jesus Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, including how Pastor Smith welcomed hippies looking for truth at Calvary Chapel, starting one of the greatest spiritual awakenings in American history. Since February there has been a revival which mirrors the 1970s. Thousands are being touched by God, and this divine movement is changing their lives. ‘We’ve had people accepting Christ in the theatres’, said Pastor Greg Laurie, on whose life the film is based. People were praying out loud asking Jesus to come into their life. ‘We had pastors and Bibles on hand. I've never heard of anything quite like doing evangelism in movie theatres on this scale.’
The Sun newspaper reported that a well-known BBC presenter has paid over £35,000 to a 17-year-old to fund his drug habit in exchange for explicit images of himself. A week later the BBC suspended Huw Edwards. But the BBC's investigation will need to tread carefully as the presenter has severe mental health issues. The BBC has a duty of care towards him as an employee, and that must be respected. He is in an internal corporate BBC process. On 12 July the Sun reported him breaking lockdown rules in 2021 to meet someone from a dating site. Without having seen the evidence people can't judge the outcome. Pray for an end to unhelpful media speculation. It could be a reprimand. It could be dismissal. It could need reputational rehabilitation. See
Data compiled from 2018 to 2022 by Reuters showed the BBC experiencing a decline in public trust from 75% to just 55%. Other mainstream TV broadcasters and newspapers suffered a similar decline. The UK is in 26th position, ahead of only South Korea and Japan in terms of public faith in media. British people have among the lowest levels of trust in journalists, with only 37% of those surveyed saying that they trusted them, versus the global average of 47%. Only two out of every ten people feel that the news media is ‘independent from undue political or government influence most of the time’. This ranks the UK 16th among the 24 nations surveyed, on a par with Romania. Our much-vaunted media landscape is not the envy of the world as we are often led to believe. See also
Prince Harry has been on a collision course with the tabloid press for years - and finally he is pressing charges of phone hacking. He has said that changing the media landscape is his ‘life's work’, and this gladiatorial courtroom encounter could be one of his own defining moments. He has a single-minded determination to keep going without settling and is rich enough to take the financial hit if he loses. He has found this wasn’t like taking questions from Oprah Winfrey in a celebrity interview. He had a hostile encounter with a highly-skilled cross-examiner armed with a battery of techniques to undermine credibility. Giving evidence is daunting.
The new faith-based film Jesus Revolution opened last weekend and brought in $15.5 million - more than double the original estimate. The film tells the true story behind the Jesus Movement of the 1970s, including how Pastor Chuck Smith welcomed hippies looking for truth at his church. It gave birth to one of the greatest spiritual awakenings in American history and birthed the Harvest Christian Fellowship, in Riverside, California, which is now one of the largest churches in America. The church has sponsored its local SoCal Harvest event for three decades, making it one of the longest-running evangelistic events in the nation, attended by millions of people. Despite mixed critical reviews, the film has a remarkable 99% audience rating on the review aggregator and has earned a rare A+ CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen has shut down the last few independent media outlets in the country, six months before a general election. He cancelled Voice Of Democracy‘s operating licence after they published an article which he claimed slandered his son. Amnesty International said this is slamming the door on what is left of independent media and a warning to other critical voices who still dare to ask questions about the government, the prime minister, and his family. Pray for Cambodians to have safe access to truthful news. Indian tax authorities searched BBC offices after it aired a story of prime minister Narendra Modi’s role in anti-Muslim violence when he was chief minister of the state. It was only broadcast in the UK. Modi is blocking Indians from sharing ‘the Modi question’ online, calling it hostile propaganda. A spokesman for him called the BBC ‘the most corrupt organisation in the world’.
Due to conflict, abuse, or persecution, large numbers of children are in need of hope and healing. This is why SAT-7 KIDS is creating a new programme, due to be broadcast in early 2023, to help children suffering from trauma. ‘Basically, if a child (or anyone) has not addressed their trauma, they cannot connect with their family, with others, or with God,’ said the president and CEO of Life Focus, with whom SAT-7 Egypt have produced the programme. ‘So, if you want someone to know Christ, you need to address trauma.’ The thirteen-part series addresses trauma caused by poverty, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and religious persecution, through drama, entertainment, and Bible verses. This aims to show young viewers that healing is possible and available for all broken hearts. It is not only for children; hopefully parents will watch and see the effect of their actions on their children.
Dressed in the colours of Ukraine, Vladyslav Bondar, a ballet dancer, moves delicately across the stage of Rotterdam's mediaeval St Lawrence Church. He is performing with the United Ukrainian Ballet at a Salvation Army Christmas party - a setting far removed from the war in his homeland. ‘I wanted to fight for Ukraine.’ Vladyslav said after the performance, knowing it could have meant the end of his career as a professional dancer. But instead of taking up arms, he joined over 70 other Ukrainians who make up the United Ukrainian Ballet - a dance company formed directly in response to the outbreak of war. Fellow dancer Oleksii Kniazkov said, ‘Every Ukrainian has his own battlefield. And the stage is ours.’ Their dance is a dance of defiance.
Iraqis, Muslims, Christians and those of no faith at all tune into a radio station vastly different from what is normally heard on Middle Eastern airwaves. ‘Saut al Salam’ or ‘Voice of Peace’ is broadcast from a tiny studio in Qaraqosh and reaches 150,000 listeners, living up to its name. The programmes have no politics or conflicts. The broadcasters tell stories about the church, Christianity and Christian life, dispelling many misconceptions in the Muslim world that are passed on from generation to generation. For instance thinking that Christians just like to party and drink alcohol. Saut al Salam is changing wrong perceptions with programs on raising children, Christian music, and reporting cultural church events. Their highest hope is that listeners, a majority of whom are not Christians, will hear a message of peace, consideration and love.
Cineworld has removed a film about Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, from Bradford, Bolton, Birmingham and Sheffield venues, after hundreds of Muslims protested, calling the film blasphemous. Cineworld said that because of incidents outside venues, and for the safety of staff and customers, the screening of 'The Lady of Heaven' will stop. The film opens with the IS invasion of Iraq, showing a jihadist murder, before telling the story of Lady Fatima. The movie's executive producer called Cineworld’s decision ‘unacceptable’ and accused them of 'bowing down to radical extremists'. He said, ‘It is never right to submit to anything that undermines free speech. The only caveat to free speech is if you incite violence either directly or indirectly. If someone doesn’t want to watch something, then don't watch it, that's your freedom. People can’t compel you to watch this film, it doesn’t incite violence, and there is nothing in British law preventing the film being screened in the UK.’