Many Christian leaders in the Middle East are praising a Bethlehem-based Christian television station for its professionalism and service to evangelism, an Italy-based news agency reported Friday. Al-Mahed (The Nativity), which is the only private Christian TV station in the Palestine and the Middle East broadcasts Catholic and Orthodox mass from different churches throughout Palestine every Sunday.
“Al-Mahed renders a priceless service to the Church by giving its views a Christian perspective and offering good programming,” Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah told AsiaNews.
Since it first went on air in 1996, Al-Mahed has offered a wide range of programs, from music and children’s shows to social, religious and educational productions.
“People call us the ‘Voice of Christianity,” said Al-Mahed’s founder and owner, Samir Qumseih a Greek Orthodox Christian.
Qumseih told AsiaNews that thanks to the station, “many Christians—the sick, the elderly, the disabled—can get the spiritual nourishment they would otherwise miss.”
Although Palestine’s economy has been tittering for a long time and reduced advertising revenue has cut into the station’s one and only source of financing, the small Christian station has continued its work through the difficulties. The station currently has a 63 thousand dollar debt on the 800 thousand dollar investment Qumesiah and his family made.
“My brothers tell me to stop the waste,” Qumesieh admits, “but for me the hardest thing would be to shut the station down because it is something that involves the entire community. If we go off the air, there won’t be any other voice like ours.”
Currently, the station is staffed by 33 employees and covers 13 Christian communities in the region.