Earlier this week i reported on a weird choice of programming for the Lebanese TV channel NBN. The same program was broadcast on the “Al Manar” Television also. Both TVs chose a series that chronicles the life and death of Jesus Christ to air during the holy month of Ramadan. At the time thought the choice was interesting and a good change from the traditional line up of programs usually offered during this period.
Well… Apparently NOT!
Yesterday the bishop of Beirut Bechara Al Raii voiced concerns over the series titled “AL SAYED AL MASSIH” (meaning Lord Messiah) saying it’s based on the Gospel of “Bernaba”, a gospel that the church say is false and misleading and severely opposes. Reasons for the opposition is many ideas within this book that totally contradict the Christian dogma, including the story that Judas was crucified instead of Jesus, the rejection of Jesus being a god /son of God and the rejection of the Resurrection (NO they do not mention Jesus giving X-Ray vision to the blind)
Those ideas are deemed blasphemous by the church and their depiction in a Ramadan series proved to be downright offensive to the Lebanese Christian community.
A large number of clergy members in different ranks voiced concerns that the series might spark sectarian disputes that Lebanon is much better off without, especially at this sensitive period. One comment in particular was harsher than all others and it came from Bishop Al Raii himself saying:
“W may not burn tires and block roads and riot, but this doesn’t mean we’ll sit back and do nothing!”
This morning saw an increased cleric activity against the continuation of broadcast of the series despite declaring it offensive and contradictory to Christian beliefs and culture. Fortunately these voices were not left unheard and a few minutes ago there was an official warrant from the Lebanese General Security offices to immediatly halt the broadcast of the offensive program on both NBN and Al Manar channels.
Crisis averted. This time.
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