1st Holy Land Christian Radio Station to Air Soon

Aims to Build Interreligious Bridges

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JERUSALEM, JULY 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The first Christian radio station from the Holy Land will soon be on air, with the aim of becoming a bridge between people of different faiths in that region.



Father Raed Abu Sahliye, a parish priest in the small Christian community of Palestine, expressed the hope that the radio station will be "a bridge between different churches and religions."

The priest serves the parish in Taybeh, a West Bank Christian village that counts less than 1,500 inhabitants, and is identified with the Biblical town of "Ephriam," which hosted Christ before he was crucified in Jerusalem, after he raised Lazarus from the dead.

Father Sahliye expressed the hope that this radio initiative will be a "Christian voice to the Christians of the Holy Land."

He visited Rome and told Vatican Radio workers, "We need the voice of Christians in the Holy Land. [...] We need to give a voice to the Holy Land Christians."

"There are many radio and television stations in the region," the priest said, "but we do not have any one of them."
Father Sahliye noted that he hopes the Christian radio station in the Holy Land, which will be launched in collaboration with Vatican Radio, will be up and running by Christmas Eve.

Voice for peace

"It will be a Christian voice, but it certainly will be a different kind of voice: a voice for peace and hope, dialogue and reconciliation," the priest affirmed.

He continued: "We will be open to everyone and to all the churches in the Holy Land.

"We will give space and time for news and celebrations of various churches and we will be open also to other religions: Judaism, Islam."

Father Sahliye said, "We will try to be a bridge, because the Christian who is not a bridge, is not a real Christian."