The fourth Christian Media Summit was held by the Israeli government on Sunday at the Friends of Zion Heritage Center in Jerusalem.
Conducted virtually for the first time due to COVID-19, the summit, which normally lasts four days, was shortened into a gala evening, attended by more than 110 media professionals on Zoom.
Featuring Israel’s friendships with Christians and its peace deals with Arabic countries, the event invited journalists, Israeli leaders, and world figures to be the speakers.
President of Israel Reuven Rivlin greeted the participants, “Dear friends from Christian media organizations around the world, Shalom! Shalom to all of you from Israel, the city of peace.” He said that this year had been a year of peace as the historical Abraham Accords was signed by Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.
Co-existence between the different people and religions in Israel is a challenge. He added, “Israel will continue to do all that is necessary to defend its citizens, and to seek peace and cooperation with our neighbors.” The country has made progress in developing the Qasr al-Yahud site where Jesus was baptized, and the entire area where there are monasteries located near the Jordan River, which might yield history that is of religious significance and promote cooperation between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu spoke that Israel had no better friends than their Christian friends around the world, and said he greatly appreciated their friendship. He applauded the Abraham Accords, saying that it was the first time that Israel signed a peace treaty with an Arabic country for over a quarter of a century, marking the full acceptance of Israel’s legitimacy. Calling on them to champion the rights of the Israeli people, he urged Christian journalists to “keep blazing the torch of truth because sooner or later, everybody will see it.”
Mr. Gordon Robertson, President and CEO of CBN News, addressed the participants, remarking that the purpose of Israel was not just to gather the tribes and to restore the ruins, but be a light to the nations, according to Isaiah 49:6. Robertson stated, “As Christian communicators or as people in Christian media, our job is to tell what Israel is doing.”
The speakers also included Mike Evans, founder and chairman of the FOE Heritage Center, Orit Farkash Hacohen, Israeli Minister of Tourism, Maayan Hoffman, editor of The Jerusalem Post, and Dr. Jürgen Bühler, president of International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
There was a panel on Israel in the midst of COVID, media bias and peace deals. Speeches were given concerning terrorism and money, Israel’s ongoing security challenges, and how to motivate the next generation to recognize and love the holy land.
At the end of the summit, a prayer video of the participants for the termination of coronavirus said, “Our Father, our King, withhold the plague from your inheritance. Decree for us good and comforting decrees of salvation on behalf of Your mercy.”