Mahmoud Abbas – Shutting up ‘the Christian Voice’

Aug 24, 2010 No Comments by

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas


By Ron Ross, 24th August, 2010
How many major media outlets have reported that the Palestinian Authority chose to shut down the only Christian television station in Bethlehem?
In just a few months we will all be singing nostalgic songs of Christ and Berthlehem, but since He came and saw and conquered, it’s been a location only acknowledged by camera-happy Christian tourists. Neverthless, there some Christians who live in Bethlehem and stand courageously for their faith.
Take for instance the peace-talking Palestinian Authority (PA) and its attempt to shut down a Bethlehem-based Christian broadcaster.The PA was forced to backtrack on ithe closure because of international repercussions.
Mahmoud Abbas and his sidekicks noted strong worldwide criticism of the shutdown and reversed the decision. (After all public opinion is all important for survival).
Al-Mahed TV has been operational in Bethlehem for 14 years. The PA shut them down on the charge they were operating without a licence. Several other private broadcasters were hit in the same crackdown.
Christians Harassed
The PA reversal was welcomed by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate.
Samir Qumsieh, the owner and general manager of Al Mahed says he will not resume broadcasts until the PA apologizes for closing him down.
He complained to Abbas that the closure came on the eve of several major Christian holidays.
Israel National News reported: “There has been increased harassment of Christian Arabs by Muslims in the Palestinian Authority, especially in towns such as Bethlehem, a central point of worship in the Christian religion.”
They said, “The TV station, located about 350 meters from Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, has for years promoted itself as the “only Christian voice” in the otherwise Muslim PA media.”
I hope and pray they resume transmission soon. Shutting down the ‘only Christian voice’ seems to play into the hands of the opposition. 2 Timothy 4: 2 comes to mind. Preach the word ‘in season and out of season.’
Pray for our Christian brethren who serve in the volatile areas of the world.
Pray also for the USA peacemakers who expect Israel to sit face to face with Abbas and trust him in the process.

World News

About the author

Ron Ross worked as the first Sports Editor at WINTV. In Wollongong he ran The Hamburger Hut an outreach and discipleship program for youth. He served with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, Philippines and Australia. He was senior pastor of the Noosa Baptist Church, Queensland for 9 years. With a heart for Israel Ron was appointed national director of Bridges for Peace, Australia. At the invitation of the BFP International Board he moved to Jerusalem and worked in the BFP Jerusalem headquarters for five years. Back in Australia he is now the Middle East correspondent for United Christian Broadcasters and travels regularly preaching and teaching.
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