Coptic leaders urge Christian channels to review content to avoid closure

A number of church leaders and Coptic activists have called for a review of the content broadcast on Christian satellite channels on Nilesat to avoid their closure.

The government has recently closed a number of Islamic satellite channels which it has accused of inciting hatred.

Safwat al-Bayadi, head of the Evangelical sect, said that Sat 7 is the only religious channel that can be described as “a social one with a Christian nature”. Al-Bayadi added that since its inception, the channel’s officials have agreed on a set of conditions and no-go areas, most important of which was to steer away from potentially sectarian content. The channel also focuses on integrating its viewers with their society.

Al-Bayadi also accused Christian channels of isolating Christians.

Meanwhile, Kamal Zakher, spokesperson for secular Copts, said there is a need for religious channels, both Islamic and Christian, to agree on a code of honor. He added that these channels need to implement general professional standards and respect the fact that Egypt is a civil state.

He also said that Christian channels should not think of themselves as strictly religious channels and should observe societal values.

Refaat Fekri, an Evangelical Church official, welcomed the idea of having a code of honor, especially for channels broadcast from Egypt and over which the state and the church have control. He also warned that some of these channels implement directives that have nothing to do with ethics and professional standards and are sometimes used for waging personal battles.

Egypt on Tuesday suspended the broadcast licenses of 12 satellite channels–mostly devoted to religious themes–and issued warnings to 20 others about their alleged involvement in inciting religious hatred and violence. 

"These corrective measures are intended to protect the Egyptian and Arab publics from broadcasters determined to make calls for murder, degradation of religious groups, said Anas al-Fiqi, minister of communication. "Among the most egregious of these violations are repeated broadcasts by extremist presenters calling for the excommunication, banishment and murder of Shiite Muslims," he added.


Translated from the Arabic Edition

Related Articles

Back to top button