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Macedonia’s Religious Channels Delayed Until 2013

March 28, 2012

Religious groups in Macedonia will have to wait until next year before starting their own television channels dedicated to faith-based programming.

Church in Skopje | Photo by: Balkan Insight

The delay is down to Macedonia’s transition from analogue to digital television which will open up more frequencies but won’t be completed until 2013.

“For now the problem is technical as we have no more frequencies to give,” said Borce Manevski from the Broadcasting Council, a state regulatory office.

The Council began considering the need for religious channels following a request from the country’s biggest church, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, MPC, and the second largest, the Islamic Religious Community, IVZ.

Both the MPC and the IVZ say they are ready to take to the airwaves. “We have the necessary staff and money,” said Abaz Islami, spokesperson for the IVZ. “We plan to broadcast prayers, ceremonies as well as documentaries and historical films that will educate our believers.”

The MPC is opting for a channel that would unite all faiths. “The broadcasting time each religion gets should correspond to the number of followers it has in the country,” one high ranking cleric who asked not to be named told Balkan Insight.

The IVZ, however, wants a channel of its own which, according to Islami, “would best serve our followers interests.”

Macedonia is following in the footsteps of religious communities in other countries. Neighboring Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Albania have similar initiatives and some religious groups there already broadcast on television and radio.

Source: Balkan Insight, 28.03.2012

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From → Church, FYROM, Religion

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