Media's portrayal of the church

Not just persecution and violence but also positive projects that promote coexistence and tolerance. This is just one of the reflections of Mark von Riedemann, director of Catholic Radio and Television Network international communications co-ordinator for Aid to the Church in Need, reports Vatican Insider.

CRTN is a Catholic network specialising in the production and distribution of documents and radio, television and Internet broadcasts, created in 1987 with the help of ACS. Its aim was to support the overhaul of Christian media and promote the revival of religious education in Eastern Europe.

CRTN and ACS have been producing Where God Weeps, a weekly television news program on the persecution of the Catholic Church - since 2005.The program is broadcast via the Internet and various broadcasters across the English speaking world, including the US Catholic television network EWTN.

Dr Riedemann, why was Where God Weeps created and what are the challenges for Catholic networks in the current media landscape?

It was created to give a voice to those who are experiencing persecution and the Church’s suffering first hand: bishops, missionaries, clerics, women religious and lay experts. We make documentaries and carry out interviews on site, often relying on local crew.

We also give the floor to visitors from all across the world who come to ACS’ international headquarters in Königstein, in search of help. Christians are not just in need of financial support. Many of them feel isolated because no one understands their suffering.

So you let the protagonists of this persecution speak?

We limit ourselves to offering a channel for them to describe the conditions in which they are living. In cases where this in not possible - due to fear or serious limitations to an individual’s religious freedom - we take it upon ourselves to speak for them.

Christians suffer as a result of Islamic fundamentalism, nationalist extremism and persecution perpetrated by the State. If their vocation is to stay in Countries such as China, Iraq and Pakistan, ours, as communicators is to help them voice their stories.

FULL STORY The media's portrayal of the persecuted church (Vatican Insider)

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