East (MNN) — Pope Benedict XVI has urged Christian and Muslim
Palestinians to work to repair the damage of past conflicts and to coexist.
SAT-7 has been broadcasting portions of
his journey live with Arabic commentary, for the benefit of viewers across the Middle
East and North Africa. Over the past
weekend, SAT-7 covered the visit of the Pontiff to the Jordan River baptismal
site and several Jordanian churches and a large open-air mass in Amman.
The Vatican broadcast service provided
TV coverage of these events, and SAT-7 added live commentary provided by
several Lebanese priests, evangelical pastors, and Arab newscasters.
SAT-7's Communications Manager David
Harder says, "The Pope, by visiting, is able to raise awareness of the
plights of our brothers and sisters in Christ there." It's also significant for the
entire Christian community of the Arab world. "The Pope is head of the largest
church in the world and can use his significant political influence to improve
the lives of suffering Christians."
Although the Pope reiterated his message Thursday from
Nazareth, his meaning takes on significance for Palestinians in Gaza, given the
most recent fighting. In Gaza, many are
rebuilding from a month-long Israeli offensive that began in December.
His message of reconciliation echoes the vision
that moves SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry, forward. "We at SAT-7 are trying to encourage
and use television to bring materials for the Christians who are in very
difficult areas, including Gaza."
Harder notes a lot of hope for the outcome of the
Pope's visit. "When we're
broadcasting this to the wider community, hopefully, it will have an impact in
changing people's perceptions of the Christians in the region. [We also hope it will impact] what they believe about Christianity and help them
understand what our beliefs are, how we love Jesus, and how Jesus loves
them as well."