The sixth Christian Media Summit 2022 will take place in Jerusalem from Dec. 11 until 14 with an aim to educate Christian journalists about Israel on the latest news from the Holy Land.
Some 150 top-tier Christian news executives and opinion leaders from around the world, including founders and CEOs of world-renowned Christian media outlets, will gather for dialogue on key topics relevant to Israel and the Christian world.
This year’s summit – organized by Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage – is the first in-person meeting in two years since the coronavirus pandemic.
“This will be the first time, after corona, we have seen each other,” Hadassah Schwarz, GPO’s senior coordinator for International Press, told Christian journalist Paul Calvert in an interview. “So much has happened around the world with Israel and about Israel. And it’s just to give them [journalists and media personnel] information that they can go back and report in their countries.”
Schwarz said representatives from 28 different nations are expected to attend the summit this year.
Among the speakers are incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bishop Robert Stearns of Eagles’ Wings, deputy head of Mashav Aviv Ezra and social media influencer Hananya Naftali.
In addition to seminars, the GPO will take journalists on a tour of key sites in Israel.
“We’re going to go down south to visit Eshkol and Sderot (on the Gaza border). We will be visiting the Knesset and be talking with some Knesset members. We will have panels, lectures various topics connected to Israel and the Christian world,” said Schwarz.
Schwarz explained the importance of bringing the group to Sderot and the towns near Gaza so the Christian media can better grasp the difficulties and dangers of living there.
“It is extremely important to see firsthand how people live there on a day-to-day basis, with a threat of rockets above their heads. We will be visiting Eshkol and going to have dinner with residents of the area, and they’re going to be sharing their experiences of how it is to live and suddenly hear a siren – and you have 30 seconds to run to a bomb shelter.”
This is the sixth annual gathering of the Christian Media Summit in Israel. Last year’s online virtual summit featured a host of Israeli top officials, including then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
“It was amazing to see how so many Christian media from around the world want to come, want to learn, want to see.”
Schwarz reiterated a statement from Netanyahu that “Israel has no better friends than the Christians around the world.”
“And to see this every day – that when no one is standing up for Israel, we see our Christian friends around the world standing up and saying the truth. And it means a lot,” she added.
Regarding Christian media, Schwarz said they generally report about Israel differently than the mainstream media. She explained that Christian journalists choose to write stories that go beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to give a fuller, more balanced picture of Jewish nation.
“I hope and I pray that those who are participating at the summit – the Christian journalists who are coming and are part of this – should go back to their countries and be an advocate for Israel and show the truth around the world, which is hard to find these days, and be the right messenger to share the message.”
“I’ve been doing this since 2017…” Schwarz said. “But when we all stand together and we just share this beautiful cause, it’s extremely moving. And to me personally, especially, I’m excited every single time. It’s like having a friend standing next to you.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.