Evangelical channel 'GOD TV' apologizes for missionary video

Broadcasting Council threatens to close channel over missionary content. Despite apology, videos online present channel's intentions

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


Asher Biton, chairman of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, sent a letter of warning to the Hot Company on Wednesday stating that he is considering canceling the 'Shelanu' channel that began broadcasting in Israel after Independence Day.

Biton asked the cable company to present its position by May 19.

Shelanu is sponsored by GOD TV, an evangelical Christian media company that broadcasts content to approximately 300 million households worldwide with an audience of over one billion people.

GOD TV CEO Ward Simpson expressed regret over the video distributed on the network which implied that the channel is delivering missionary content. "For the past 25 years, GOD TV has been a friend and supportive of Israel. It is very disappointing to hear and read these misunderstandings. With my excitement and eagerness to present this great news of approval, there were things that were said and could have been said in a different way."

''For that I apologize again and understand why it was offensive. When our Messianic Jewish partners commented on it, we dropped it that day. We would never have deliberately done to damage the excellent relationship between hundreds of millions of evangelical Christians around the world with Israel and the Jewish people. Our viewers love, support, and admire the Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu and the Jewish people."

"GOD TV and the "Shelanu" channel have no intention of trying to convert Jews to another religion and do not use any form of coercion. We understand and respect Israeli laws. We also have no desire to escalate tensions with the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Board and we look forward to working with the council in making a positive decision," Simpson clarified.

In the following videos however, Simpson presents the goal of the channel - to spread the word of Christianity to the Hebrew speaking public:

Ron Cantor, GOD TV's Israel director, said: "The Hot company contacted us last year to see if GOD TV was planning to resume broadcasting in Israel. We immediately asked if we could broadcast Hebrew content to the general public and they answered yes. Thus began a sincere partnership with Hot who approached the council at our request."

"The Hot company referral to the council has never been presented to us or seen. The Hot company just informed us that our application was accepted. We hope that any issues that need to be resolved between Hot and the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Board will be resolved quickly, in order to maintain our freedom of expression and press freedom,” Cantor added.