Here is the final statement from a conference on Arab Christian Media, held this week in Jordan.
* * *
The Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican held their first joint conference in Amman from 10-11 June 2013, under the patronage of His Beatitude Patriarch Fuad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem . Present at the conference were, the Minister of State for Media and Communications H.E. Dr. Mohammad Momani and H. E. Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
The Conference title was: “the Arab Christian Media at the Service of Justice, Peace and Human Rights”. The conference was attended by Christian and Muslim clergymen, media professionals and others. Speakers at the conference were the Patron Patriarch Fuad Twal, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, , Father Rifat Bader the Director General of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, H. E. the Minister of State for Media and Communications and H. E. Mr. Faisal Akef Al Fayez the Former Prime Minister.
The Catholic Cener for Studies and Media announced that it will present the Centre’s shield, starting this year, to two intellectual figures. This year, Dr. Isam Sakhnini from Petra University received the Shield in appreciation for his book: “The Genocide Against Christians in Najran 523 and in Jerusalem 614″ as well as Artist and Comedian Mr. Mousa Hijazine in appreciation for his contribution in the domain of political theatre and freedom of expression.
At the end of the conference, the organizers agreed on the following:
1. To send a cable of greetings and respect to His Majesty King Abdullah bin Al Hussein on the occasion of his Accession to the Throne, the Army’s and Great Arab Revolution Day, which coincided with this conference.
2. The conference underscores the leading and essential role played by the all kinds of media. The conference agreed on the need to promote the work of media to serve the values of justice, peace and human rights through focusing on what unites people not what sets them apart. The conference concluded that media should aim at spreading harmony and peace among people.
3. The conference underscored the leading role religious media plays today; religious media can serve religion through exploring its true identity but also can destroy and use religion to serve political and other interests.
4. The conference highlights the importance the Arab Christian Media role in serving Arab, human and international causes. Arab Christian media is not a closed one; it puts itself at the service of human causes like justice, peace, respect of and defending if necessary the rights of humans.
5. Media outlets provide a space for communication with Churches, on the ecumenical level, and also with Muslims, with whom we share the bitter present as well as the past and destiny. The conference stressed the importance of supporting positive dialogue initiatives through the various types of media.
6. The conference calls for more cooperation between the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican and the Catholic Centre for Studies and Media in Jordan. The conference calls for continuing their cooperation in publishing books and publications that call for the proper usage of media outlets and the profession’s ethics, and place such knowledge in the hands of the younger generations to bring about knowledge, goodness and love. The conference encourages media professionals to be, as Pope Francis has said in his first meeting with media personnel on 16 March 2013: “Witnesses for the Truth, Beauty and Goodness”.
7. The conference called at the closing ceremony for justice, peace and respect for human rights in the Arab region and for stopping violence on the part of all feuding parties in more than one Arab country. The conference praises the humanitarian role played by the Government of Jordan in hosting Syrian refugees from Iraq and Syria. The conference calls for the release of The Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo Yohanna Ibrahim and his Greek Orthodox counterpart Boulos Yazaji.
8. The conference “wishes the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan continued Progress, Dialogue and Fraternity” (Cf. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, speech at the inauguration ceremony of the American University of Madaba, Jordan , 3052013), and hopes Jordan remains a safe haven for national unity and co-living between all of its citizens without any discrimination.
9. The conference thanks all speakers who enriched the conference with their thoughts that expressed appreciation to the Arab Christian media and to all other media outlets that uphold human dignity.
Amman – Jordan