HomeMedia WatchBBC reports on failed Ethiopian prophet; why not report on Christian miracles or on Christians suffering?
July 23, 2018
BBC reports on failed Ethiopian prophet; why not report on Christian miracles or on Christians suffering?
The BBC reported a news story at the weekend about an aspiring Ethiopian ‘prophet’ who had been arrested after failing to bring a dead man back to life. Whilst this is certainly a newsworthy and interesting story, it begs the question why does the BBC not also report on stories of miracles which do happen to Christians, or of the suffering of Christians around the world?
However, why not tell stories of people who genuinely are healed, apparently miraculously?
In its daily prayer letter for Friday 13th July, which you can find here, the Barnabas Fund — a reliable news outlet which checks its facts as far as possible — reported on the apparently miraculous healing of a 13-year-old girl in Nepal after a Christian woman, Soniya, had prayed for her.
“Correlation famously doesn’t imply causation. Because Person A prayed for Person B to get well, and Person B then got well, it does not logically follow that Person B got well because Person A prayed. For all that, however, the unprovability of the miracle does not mean that the miracle did not occur.”
No more details were given by the Barnabas Fund about the people involved, obviously to protect them. I appreciate that, even knowing the identities of those involved, it may not be possible either scientifically or historically to prove the miracle occurred: there simply might not be adequate documentary evidence that the illness was ever present.
And of course, correlation famously doesn’t imply causation. Because Person A prayed for Person B to get well, and Person B then got well, it does not logically follow that Person B got well because Person A prayed.
For all that, however, the unprovability of the miracle does not mean that the miracle did not occur.
It is true that skepticism may be the ideal starting point. Historical credulity has led to all sorts of crazed and superstitious practices, not least the witch-hunts in England in the seventeenth century and Pope Gregory IX’s demonization of black cats.
Yet, if this or other reported miracles are at least credible and can be supported by evidence (though not provable), one wonders that the BBC takes no interest in these. Given the prevalent assumption in Western society, viz., that because miracles don’t happen every day while you’re standing in the chip shop queue, ergo they don’t happen: I for one would be most interested to read a credible account of a miraculous healing in a respected, and supposedly unbiased news outlet.
What about the suffering of Christians worldwide?
Not only does the BBC seem oddly silent on possible miracles achieved through prayer, but even more glaringly on the suffering of Christians around the world.
“The BBC seems to have a blind spot when it comes to the suffering of Christians.”
However, the BBC seems to have a blind spot when it comes to the suffering of Christians.
On 14 April 2015 the Barnabas Fund reported the tragic story of 14-year-old Nauman Masih, a Pakistani Christian who was murdered on his way to the tailor’s shop in Lahore where he was an apprentice. When asked by two boys what was his religion, and confessing that he was a Christian, the boys then threw Kerosene oil on Masih and torched him. He died in hospital four days later.
Without wishing to deny or belittle the undoubted genuine trauma which Natalia Guerrero went through with her dentist, I question whether any of these stories are more newsworthy than the horrific examples of Christian suffering I have mentioned above — not to mention the thousands more such stories which occur around the globe every year.
Christianity: ‘the great unmentionable’?
Is it actually the case that the BBC (especially online) is so concerned to appear ‘balanced’ and ‘neutral’ as per its remit, that it sticks its head in the sand whenever newsworthy examples of Christian suffering occur — lest it be seen to be ‘favouring’ the representation of Christianity?
“In spite of its being the religion of the downtrodden in so many parts of the world, Christianity is still viewed by many in the UK as ‘the establishment,’ and the BBC prides itself on being radical, inventive, cutting-edge, even anti-establishment in a way that commercial channels simply can’t.”
After all — and in spite of its being the religion of the downtrodden in so many parts of the world — Christianity is still viewed by many in the UK as ‘the establishment,’ and the BBC prides itself on being radical, inventive, cutting-edge, even anti-establishment in a way that commercial channels simply can’t.
Graham is an evangelical Christian believer living in Sussex, UK. He is passionate about helping people to understand what the Bible really says, and about explaining what the Christians of the early centuries believed and taught.