This year, more than any other year, media sources controlled by Hezbollah have broadcast displays of Christmas celebration. On Christmas Day, the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Nour radio station took the occasion to praise Jesus Christ’s birth, and chose to broadcast religious songs following a political decision made by Hezbollah.
The party’s main TV channel (Al Manar) did the same. It dedicated a share of its programming to wishing Christians well on the day celebrating of the birth of Christ. Moreover, its news bulletins included positive media coverage of Christmas celebrations. They highlighted Hezbollah’s participation in these celebrations through talks on the place of Jesus, the son of Mary, in Islam.
It is true that these programs emphasized the use of the terms “Prophet Jesus” or “God’s spirit,” in a display of their conservatism vis-a-vis the Christian consideration of Jesus as God or the son of God. However, Hezbollah’s media intended to downplay this “ideological and religious controversy,” and instead focus on the party’s participation in the celebration of this important holiday with Christians in the East.
Even the Iranian embassy in Beirut distributed congratulation letters on the birth of “Prophet Jesus son of Mary.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM AL MONITOR: THE PULSE OF THE MIDDLE EAST
Rome, Italy, Sep 10, 2012 / 12:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians and Muslims will come together for a prayer vigil on Sept. 12 to invoke the protection of God and the Virgin Mary over Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming visit to the country this week.
Vatican-based Fides News Agency reported that four processions of young people will converge upon the “Garden of Mary” in Beirut’s Museum Square on Wednesday.
At 8 p.m. local time the vigil will begin, with Christian and Muslim readings and prayer asking God to bless the Sept. 14-16 papal visit.
The Secretary of the Commission of the Lebanese Bishops’ Conference for Dialogue with Islam, Father Antoine Daou, told Fides that the title of the initiative is “Together in peace, love, freedom and security.”
“It will be a national and popular holiday, to show to the world that Lebanon can be in this moment in history the Country of coexistence between Christians and Muslims,” he noted.
Representatives and leaders from all the religious communities in Lebanon, as well as thousands of the faithful, are expected to participate in the vigil.
FULL ARTICLE FROM DFW CATHOLIC.ORG
BEIRUT: Kataeb (Phalange) Party leader Amin Gemayel met the head of Cairo’s Al-Azhar, the most prestigious center of Sunni scholarship, to discuss ways to strengthen ties between Christians and Muslims and energize dialogue between the two groups, said a statement released by the party.
Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayeb said he discussed with Gemayel many issues, including “openness” between Al-Azhar and eastern churches. Tayeb said Al-Azhar might call for the convening of a conference including Christian and Muslim intellectuals and representatives of eastern churches, the state-run National News Agency reported.Gemayel said Muslim-Christian cooperation was essential for the region’s salvation. He said he felt duty-bound to visit Tayeb in order to be guided by his ideas to tackle “some pressing issues.”
“The meeting was very fruitful. I listened to [Tayeb’s] views on a host of issues currently under discussion not only in Egypt, but in the Arab world as a whole in the wake of [popular] movements that are taking place,” Gemayel told reporters.
FULL STORY FROM LEBANON’S DAILY STAR