Message from the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit delivered to the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy and Media by the WCC director of Communications Mark Beach on 12 May 2014.
Your Excellency Sergei Popov, President of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy,
Your Excellency Anastasios Nerantzis, Secretary General of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy,
Respected members of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy,
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Ladies and Gentleman,
Christ is Risen!
It is a great honor for me to greet your gathering of members of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy and the church and public media on behalf of the World Council of Churches, which is the largest and most inclusive global ecumenical organization.
The importance of this event “Christianity – Orthodoxy and the media in modern world” cannot be understated. Today when so many of us receive news and information through a variety of media sources, when more and more news comes in small and often incomplete pieces through social media, and in a time when citizen journalism is perhaps more trusted than traditional journalistic sources, it is vital that churches and their leadership understand the new and fast changing media landscape. As you wrestle with broad questions such as the church and its portrayal in the media, media and theology, church unity, worship, politics, we offer our prayers and solidarity.
The WCC, as a fellowship of churches believes it remains incumbent upon churches to continue to speak with compassion, yet prophetically; in love, yet about truth. We must proclaim the gospel of Christ and share about the mission of the church even when the media pay little attention. Your gathering in Thessaloniki will help churches to share its story and message. As churches we offer a unique perspective on all aspects of life, including expressing love and compassion to those who are suffering, hope to those without hope, and pointing all toward the light of Christ. There will be times when the voice of the churches are a voice in the wilderness. But, still we will proclaim our story to all who will listen.
May you continue to serve with diligence and with unswerving commitment to the risen Christ.
Yours in our Common Lord,
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit