First Christian radio station to act as 'bridge' for Holy Land


Last week, Vatican Radio announced that the first Christian radio station in the Holy Land would be on air by Christmas. The local priest spearheading its creation told them that the station's aim is to be "a voice of peace, of hope, of dialogue and reconciliation" in the region.

The Vatican's radio station is lending a hand to former spokesman of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, Fr. Raed Abusahlia, and the last completely Christian village in Palestine, Taybeh, where he is the parish priest, to inaugurate the landmark communications outlet.

“We need a Christian voice in the Holy Land," the priest told Vatican Radio during a recent visit to their Rome headquarters. " ... Even though there are different television and radio stations in the region, we don’t have a single Christian radio station.”

Taybeh's location at over 3,000 feet above sea level provides the Christians with a distinct advantage, enabling them to potentially broadcast their signal to the entire region. Fr. Raed spoke of covering "the whole diocese which extends over Jordan, Palestine and Israel," with the target audience being " the Arabic speaking community from Amman to Gaza, Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."

Fr. Raed said that the station will strive to be “a voice of peace, of hope, of dialogue and reconciliation.

"We will be open to everybody, to the other Churches of the Holy Land. We will give space and time for all the news and celebrations of the other churches ... It will also be open to the other religions, Jews and Muslims.

"We will try to be a bridge," he explained, "because a Christian who is not a bridge is not a Christian."

The parish priest of Taybeh said he expects the radio station to go live on Dec. 24, 2010.

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