SA churches rally to boycott e.tv’s ‘Naked News’

2011-05-16 00:00

A CALL for a national boycott of television channel e.tv has attracted widespread support from churches throughout South Africa.

Family Planning Institute (FPI) leader Errol Naidoo told The Witness he believes his efforts to get Christians to join in his “eTV Mass Switch Off campaign” against broadcasts of The Naked News is paying off.

During the late-night news bulletin, newscasters strip naked while presenting the news.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa gave e.tv the green light to continue its broadcast of the controversial news bulletin, despite complaints by religious groups such as FPI, who want it canned.

Naidoo said they are not ready to give up the fight.

E-mails drumming up support for a national switch-off of the channel are circulating thick and fast among Christians in the country.

Naidoo challenged e.tv about these broadcasts, and about all other pornographic programmes that he says degrade women and harm children.

“I have already received a few thousand e-mails from individuals and independent churches indicating their support,” Naidoo told The Witness on Friday .

He said he also has the backing of mainstream churches that boast membership in the hundreds of thousands, adding that their leaders promised the message would be passed on during Sunday services.

These include the Evangelical Alliance of SA, which represents 29 Christian denominations across the country, with as much as four million members.

Other supporters are the Baptist Union of Southern Africa, with half- a-million members, the Assemblies of God Church with 600 000 members, the Apostolic Faith Mission with 1,4 million members and the Methodist Church of SA, with 2,5 million members in about 600 churches.

“They all committed to sounding the alarm to boycott e.tv until they remove The Naked News” said Naidoo.

He claims to have conducted more than 25 interviews on both Christian and secular radio stations over this issue.

Naidoo believes that such news broadcasts are particularly harmful because e.tv is a free-to-air channel and there are no parental controls that can block sexually explicit content.

In a country with one of the highest incidences of rape, sexual abuse and family violence in the world, Naidoo said, pornography and the negative sexual stereotyping of women in programmes like Naked News can only fuel the sexual abuse of women and children.

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