POPE FRANCIS VISIT TO CYPRUS GIVES HOPE TO REFUGEES AND CHURCHES
SAT-7 provided extensive live coverage of the recent Papal visit to Cyprus, sharing how it was an opportunity to promote the region’s refugee crises and the importance of collaboration between different Christian communities.
“We wanted to cover this visit for many reasons. We’ve covered humanitarian issues, including stories of refugee survivors in Cyprus, and we could relate to why he came to pray for them. We also have an office in Turkey, and we know that the Cyprus conflict is also in the middle of this visit,” shares George Makeen, SAT-7 Arabic Channels Director.
He added that recent wars, the pandemic and economic crises have caused people to become closed in fear and distrust. But the Pope’s visit comes as a call for people to open up and engage the other.
“Pope Francis came to call us to pray and care for each other. This should lead us to remember that we as humanity are in need of one another,” Makeen adds.
SAT-7 ARABIC held live interviews with church spokespersons and through SAT-7’s studios in Cyprus, Egypt, and Lebanon. Guests of the live coverage on SAT-7 agreed with presenter Fadi Bou Rachid that the Pope’s visit encourages churches to reach out in dialogue and collaboration as well as have compassion by reaching out to the underprivileged.
“Nobody likes to leave their country. They only leave when they face hardships and difficulties. The Church is always supporting people regardless of their backgrounds and wherever they are,” shared Franciscan Father Hanna Mena highlighting the Church’s role towards refugees in light of the Pope’s visit.
Leila Eskandar, Head of Saint Rebecca Monastery in Nicosia said that Pope Francis’ visit was a blessing and a symbol of unity, love, peace and conciliation between people and churches.
Mike Bassous, CEO of the Bible Society, shared in a SAT-7 interview that the Bible Society printed ten thousand copies of the Gospels in Greek and in English to distribute to the attendees in celebration of the Pope’s visit:
“His visit is symbolic of how the Bible unifies different denominations; we’re all Christians.”