During the past week, many in the Middle East, caught up in the yuletide spirit will have been hoping for a more peaceful world in 2011, says Harry Hagopian. But what are the prospects for peace and stability in the region?
Soothing 'Christmas messages' have become practically unavoidable, says Simon Barrow. But most of them are bland beyond belief. In truth the birth of Christ confronts us with something much more demanding - a choice between two ways of living in a world dominated by empire.
Some people seem to have got the idea that Ekklesia objects to the BBC broadcasting a Christmas message from the Pope. We don't. We simply think that the BBC ban on non-religious and some minority religious people sharing their reflections in the same 'Thought for the Day' slot should be ended. Giving an immensely powerful individual (and head of state) access to airwaves denied to those he attacked when he was last in Britain also raises wider questions which should not be ducked.