Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV usually covers church services today, but this Christmas seems to be one of the most extensively reported ever.
Services were broadcast on the Islamist channel from several churches, including the Maronite:
Greek Orthodox:
And Roman Catholic:
From big churches in the capital:
To small ones in the countryside:
The theme was coexistence, with Hezbollah delegations visiting church congregations nation-wide:
With a special focus on those located in mixed Muslim-Christian areas:
And intense coverage of outdoor Christian decorations in Hezbollah-dominated southern and Bekaa villages:
Plenty of unveiled church goers interviewed:
Smiles and kisses all around:
But there was more.
Interviews with priests during Al Manar talk shows:
Singing songs about Christ during Al Manar variety shows:
Complete with 70s fade outs:
Quotes from Jesus with booming voice during commercial breaks:
Even a “Holy Mary” music video:
Meanwhile a similar Jesus fest was going in Iran, from top leaders tweets:

May Jesus Christ, Prophet of love & peace, bless us all on this day. Wishing Merry #Christmas to those celebrating, esp Iranian Christians.
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) December 24, 2013

Jesus #Christ, the Son of #Mary, was a herald of God’s grace, blessing &guidance for man. 1/12/1987
— khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) December 24, 2013

May the spirit of Christmas bring joy, peace, empathy and compassion to everyone throughout the coming year. Merry Christmas.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) December 24, 2013

I wanted to see if there was a similar reaction among Muslim-led governments in the region.
But as opposed to the Christmas bonanza going in Iran and Hezbollah–whose leaders have been branded as terrorists by the West– I could find very little about the holidays from Western Muslim allies.
Nothing today from the Saudi news agency:

No Christmas news in Kuwait:

And not a single tweet this week from UAE prince and Dubai leader:
There are thousands of US troops based in these countries, yet isn’t it ironic that “enemy” states seem much more focused on the message of religious coexistence than allied ones?
  1. “But as opposed to the Christmas bonanza going in Iran and Hezbollah–whose leaders have been branded as terrorists by the West– I could find very little about the holidays from Western Muslim allies. “
    The best sentence in your excellent report.

  2. well, you sort of answered the reason behind this in the end: the Hezb is feeling threatened by what’s going on in Syria, and it badly needs to show itself as a potential ally to christians in the regions/the opposite of Sunni extremist intolerance, to keep a certain popular support. Not that I am against the message. but it being overstressed hints at its political goal. Another sunni-shiite competition. Kudos for the Hezb though for being diplomatically smarter.. wish they always compete on who’s got the best “good” msg, rather than other stuff.

    1. Unknown, I think you can argue that the coverage is linked to Syria, but I’m not sure that is a bad thing. Wouldn’t it be great if this coverage encourages other parties to also broadcast a message of tolerance? One hopes there would be a competition for that.

    2. Unknown, thats a good call but I really don’t think its the reason at all, people are not this stupid except if they were already supporting the hizib and iran in which case the Christmas stuff has no real effect on gaining minority support at all anyway.

      This Report does not stand in support of hizballah and its allies at all… on the contrary it clearly resolves the blunt image ,which is quite frankly insulting, in which they have come to see their supporters and their audience in general.

      So lets see; they have never done this before, and now after the turmoil in Syria they suddenly decide to live the spirit of Christmas extensively? Do they really expect the Christians and other neutrals not to be skeptical and feel something wrong here? Do they really think people are this stupid, or are they just becoming like a king whose loosing all his power caused him to frantically (with no sense whatsoever) try to save it by any means necessary? honestly this just fuels the self-righteousness of their own stupid supporters that’s it..

      1. Ridiculous comments by both Alaa Zahra and Unknown. Completely not based in reality. Hezb’Allah’s al-Manar did these coverages for purely righteous reasons. Nothing more, nothing less. Hezb’Allah has always kept good relations with all the communities in Lebanon.

      2. Ridiculous comments by unknown and ‘Alaa Zahra’ (fake name, it’s a Jew). Hezb’Allah’s pro-peace community is genuine. Hezb’Allah has always had good relations with all the communities of Lebanon.

  3. Interestingly in 2006, the Free Patriotic Movement was holding a mass for the martyrs in St. Georges in downtown. And Al Manar was transmitting it live, but the coverage was cut for the noontime azan. So the Christian hymns were cut to the voice of the Muezzin only to be back with no transition when he finished. It was a bit surrealistic….

  4. Previous comment was mistakenly posted at the bottom of the thread when it was a response to “Unknown” I have copy pasted it as a reply to Unknown and deleted it here to avoid repetition.

    1. You are so dumb MR. Unknown, they are not going to show respect to Israel and no Arab nation should either.

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