A faith-based media production company is asking online viewers to choose their favorite videos from its own list of the top videos in 2011 aimed at promoting tolerance, peace, and social justice.
Odyssey Networks bills itself as the nation's largest multi-faith coalition dedicated to social causes through the production and distribution of media.
The “Top 11 Videos of 2011” include topics such as illegal immigration, poverty, and the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
“It has been a year of dramatic stories in America, and faith and religion played a role in virtually every big headline,” Odyssey Networks stated earlier this week. “Odyssey Networks finds those stories behind the news and brings them to light in the context of the diverse, thoughtful perspectives of American faith communities.
“Our mission is to enrich spiritual life and build bridges of understanding among people of different beliefs and perspectives by producing and distributing media across a variety of platforms: web, mobile, social media, TV and film.”
In one of the video selections, “The Immigration Debate: Alabama Bishops Unite to Fight Tough New Law,” viewers hear from both sides of an “Arizona-style immigration bill.” A Republican Alabama State senator describes the bill as being necessary out of fairness to the state’s residents, while during other segments of the video, bishops from various denominations argue against the bill on “purely religious freedom grounds.”
In the “9/11: The Conversation We Never Had” video, authors and church leaders discuss the nation’s lingering issues about the tragedy, including the varied opinions about a mosque center being built close to Ground Zero.
“The stories represent the best of humanity, some of the worst of circumstances, and the inspiring ways that people use their faith and religious beliefs to navigate life together and solve pressing social issues,” Odyssey Networks stated.
“We also captured incredible triumphs of the human spirit, such as an exclusive interview with 2011 Nobel Laureate and Lutheran Leymah Gbowee and a candid discussion with Rais Bhuiyan, whose Islamic faith led him to forgive the man who tried to kill him and fight to save him from the death penalty.”
Odyssey Networks began in 1987 under the name National Interfaith Cable Coalition and was led by communication executives from Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faith groups. The organization launched two satellite TV networks, which later merged and eventually was renamed to its name now.
In 2010, the company expanded its membership “beyond the Abrahamic faiths to include all faith groups” in the U.S. Membership grew to include Baha’i’ and Krishna, Odyssey Networks officials say on their website.