UCIP – Lebanon and "The Messiah" series Preserving Coexistence, Mutual Respect and Freedom of Expression
In this context, UCIP issued the following statement:
1- The Union thanks all those who helped in converging viewpoints and engaged in a constructive dialogue, paving the way for a wise and peaceful solution. Such spirit characterizes indeed Lebanon message, far away from backlash.
2- The series aim was probably to converge Christians and Muslims viewpoints. However, the series had a negative impact, given the manifest errors it contained about the gist of Christianity. Ecclesiastics are the only ones in a position to have the last word about the truthfulness of all what is written or said about the Christ, the gist of the Christian faith. The Church wants to make sure that everything is done according to the truth and history in order to preserve the Christian faith. It insists that all references must be revealed when portraying the Christ from another point of view, their Christ.
3- The Union refuses to transform such attempts into tribulations that put at stake coexistence and undermine the freedoms of expression and worship. Indeed, this would bring us back to the ages of Western and Eastern religious police states. We should instead preserve the coexistence in Lebanon, as established by the constitution and have respect for others and their beliefs.
4- Each religious or ideological community has the right to present its faith and viewpoint in every matter according to its fundaments. Nevertheless, its message must not violate expressly others rights. Therefore, the Church condemns this untruthful and unjust portrait of the Christ presented to the spectators.
5- The Muslim has the right to disbelieve in the divine prophecy of the Christ, on one hand. On the other hand, the Christian has also the right to disbelieve in the prophecy of Mohammed and his divine message. In fact, if Muslims and Christians share the same beliefs, no need then for the religious and cultural plurality. In such case, the world would lose its cultural riches and equilibrium.
6- The Union hopes to see the Lebanese community able to criticize religions while respecting the freedom of expression and without societal backlash. In fact, criticizing religions enriches them and it is not always a bad thing when it is done in an appropriate ideological and societal environment.