Displaying items by tag: Media
Justin Welby will conduct interviews on a new Radio 4 series, ‘Faith and morality’, which will run for six half-hour episodes on consecutive Sundays. He will discuss the balance of spirituality and life in the public eye with a number of high-profile personalities like Tony Blair and Stephen King. The archbishop said it would be ‘a privilege to spend time interviewing fascinating people from different backgrounds for this series. I relish the opportunity to be the one asking the questions rather than answering them. There are few better ways to get to know someone than to inquire and listen. I want to hear about people's lives, and the events and underlying frameworks that shape their views, and I'm extremely grateful for each person’s generosity in giving their time, honesty and vulnerability telling their stories.’
A fourth journalist has been killed in Mexico in a month, drawing condemnation from freedom-of-the-press groups. Roberto Toledo, a 55-year-old lawyer, was gunned down by three men in a parking area by the law office where he worked. Three other journalists have been killed so far this year. ‘His death underscores the incredibly dangerous situation that journalists across Mexico are having to contend with as they try to go about their daily work.’ said Natalie Southwick, programme coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Committee to Protect Journalists. The group condemned the attack on social media and urged Mexican authorities to investigate. Mexico has offered bodyguards and bulletproof vests to vulnerable journalists in the past, but it hasn’t been enough. Tourist drug demand is bringing cartel violence to Mexico’s most popular resorts.
Youtube has removed a sermon on sexuality by American pastor John MacArthur. The sermon violated their ‘hate speech policy’ when he said ‘there is no such thing as transgender. You are either XX or XY’. MacArthur’s comments related to Canada’s legislation, Bill C-4, which became law on 8 January. Some pastors and church leaders fear it could lead to the prohibition of sermons on biblical sexuality. Christian organisations say the wording of the bill is so broad, it could be used for ‘the criminal prosecution of Christians who speak biblical truth’. Four thousand preachers have affirmed their opposition to the bill and their willingness to speak out against it. Conservative commentator Todd Starnes said, ‘YouTube affirmed the Canadian law by banning any opposition to transgenderism on their platform, and it won’t be very long before the sex and gender revolutionaries target the source of our beliefs - the Holy Bible.’
Why would an online television series about Jesus be breaking popularity records? It has no big-name stars or producers. The stories are ancient. Are viewers looking for hope amid pandemic uncertainty? Are they bored with working from home and turning to diversions their bosses cannot monitor? Maybe personal connection is driving all this. The episodes portray Jesus’ life with believable dialogue and characters whose genuine, heartfelt emotions - pain, confusion, fear, exhilaration, contentment, awe - help viewers relate these stories to their own struggles and joys. The producers also selected a unique distribution method: free of charge via online streaming. As of now, over 300 million people in over 190 countries have viewed it, and there are translations into fifty languages. A special Christmas 2021 episode was put on in a theatre to run for two days: it ran for 23 days!
An Algerian message: ‘Christians eagerly wait for Christmas. We wait for joyous worship services, time to gather with family and friends, presents to open, and the celebration of the hope we have in Christ. But since authorities closed our churches in 2019, we won’t be able to celebrate Christmas together for the third year running. The churches are doing their best to take care of their sheep in an impossible situation and are waiting for heavenly intervention. In the midst of these hardships, Christians meet on Zoom, and watch church services on TV. We believe in a mighty God: nothing is impossible with Him.’ Pray for God to renew the spiritual strength of Algerian Christians waiting on God to shift the things beyond their control. May we join with the pastors who proclaim that the best is yet to come. Pray that Algerian churches will be permanently re-opened.
'We are living in a Christian land', declared one of the BBC’s founding figures at its launch. Broadcasting House, in London, was opened in 1932. Above the central archway in the entrance lobby was a large Latin inscription of their value statement: ‘This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.’ This inscription remains in the same place today, and the mission statement is as necessary and relevant as ever. May the BBC and all media outlets be reliable and honest sources of information. May truth be uppermost on all reporting, without speculation or opinions. Pray also for religious broadcasting and light entertainment.
The Church of England has released a Christmas single as part of a campaign to encourage more people to hear the real Christmas story through their local church. The single, a new carol version of In the Bleak Midwinter by one of the country’s top young composers, Rebecca Dale, will form the soundtrack to this year’s CofE Christmas campaign. It was released on all streaming platforms on Wednesday 1 December and can be downloaded online. All royalties from the digital streams and downloads of the track will be donated to charity, helping people experiencing homelessness in the UK. The Archbishop of Canterbury said that we often dress Christmas up with trimmings, but they are not the heart of Christmas. The only thing that makes Christmas perfect is Jesus, and the only thing we need to give him and each other is our hearts.
Christians in Media is a UK community supporting, encouraging and inspiring Christians working in, and with, media: producers, journalists, photographers, editors, content creators, social media managers, press officers, war correspondents. Through local meet-ups and a flourishing online network, they help, encourage and inspire each other to be disciples whilst meeting the demands of the industry. Their vision is to see Christians in the industry flourish and become key influencers, to see churches engaging positively with the media, and to see the life-affirming Gospel message of faith, hope and love increasingly reflected in the UK media. 31st October is a day of prayer for Christians in the media; a call to churches to set aside time in their meetings to pray for local, regional, national and social media. To inspire this time of prayer, Christians in Media have produced a new short video that can be used as an introduction to prayer. See
Last week, Ofcom publicly withdrew from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, citing as the reason a need to avoid conflict or a risk of perceived bias. They are the latest in a growing list of government departments and public bodies to acknowledge that the advice given by Stonewall is highly partisan, often factually inaccurate, and sometimes misleading. None of this, however, appears to have impacted on the BBC. In a statement issued on 26 August, the corporation defiantly repeated its commitment to workplace inclusion, saying it would remain associated with Stonewall’s LGBTQ+ Diversity Champions’ programme. A sizeable number of BBC staff are deeply unhappy with this. Senior presenters have complained that continuing support for the controversial programme indicates clear bias and partiality, with one commenting, ‘if we’re all being lectured about impartiality, and quite rightly so, why are we signed up to a scheme that is obviously partial?’
The Christian actress Letitia Wright speaks out about Jesus in public and has turned down big roles because of her ethics. She starred in Doctor Who, Black Panther and Black Mirror. She took part in a devotional series with the YouVersion Bible app and posted about her faith on Instagram. In an interview ahead of the new drama I am Danielle on Channel 4, she told how her faith sustains her in her career: ‘The world is so fickle and there's not much that you can really put your hope in to make you feel whole. Even now I'm going through a new transformative stage with understanding who I am, but with God you can really get through these situations. It's been beautiful to have my faith in Jesus, which is worth more than anything.’