“Western Europe, where Protestant Christianity originated and Catholicism has been based for most of its history, has become one of the world’s most secular regions,” according to the Pew Research Center. So, how can writers and publishers most effectively reach this post-Christian audience?
This April 22 to 24 Christian communicators from across the region will gather at MediaFest2020 in Prague, Czech Republic, where most people say they don’t believe in God. Led by MAI-Europe, the festival will connect and support European believers interested in creating life-changing content. We interviewed Anna Shirochenskaya, an MAI-Europe trustee who leads Triad publishing house in Moscow, about her hopes for MediaFest.
Q: What makes MediaFest2020 unique? MAI-Europe has held several other publishing forums since 2012.
Anna: The name reflects the essence of the event. Our previous pan-European events were called “Publishing Forums.” Our participants were traditional publishers, authors and editors. Since then we have gradually been entering a new world, that of the digital word. Every word – spoken or written – becomes a set of codes from the moment it is born. The traditional book has been dethroned in many ways and replaced with “content.” So, the idea of a media festival was born.
We’ll be dialoguing with participants about “the Art of spreading the Word” of God through various media channels. With MediaFest we want to address two audiences: 1) traditional publishers and authors who are looking to redirect the riches of their accumulated content into multiple media channels. 2) A younger audience of content creators who lack some traditional skills for making their “digital words” shine, but have impressive multimedia skills. Overall, it will be a fun festival of surprises, music, informal fellowship and opportunities for creating new friendships and partnerships.
Q: How does the spiritual climate in Europe affect how Christian communicators create and share their content?
Anna: We may pretend that Europe is still 100% Christian or face the fact that we are going deeper and deeper into a postmodern reality. Modern Europeans often don’t or don’t want to understand the Christian message delivered in a traditional way. Now it has to be explained and “translated” into a postmodern mentality. We are living in the context of Paul and the Greeks. Christianity has stopped being an axiom for Europeans and our ways of “spreading the Word” need adjusting.
Q: You’ve personally invested a lot of time in planning for MediaFest aside from your day-to-day work leading a Christian publishing house in Moscow. What do you hope will transpire at MediaFest?
Anna: I hope that it will consolidate the existing European Christian publishing community; help publishers to explore innovative ways of creating and distributing their content; attract a young techy generation of content creators; and help connect European content writers, content producers and content distributors.
Q: How do you envision the long-term results of MediaFest for the Church in Europe?
Anna: At the end of the day, Christian publishing and content production is the voice of the Church. I hope that this voice will become more clear, more audible and better defined. It will be a voice trained in the “Art of spreading the Word.”
Q: How can we pray for you and MediaFest?
Anna: Pray for wisdom in our preparations, strength and clarity of communication by facilitators, and new and bright ideas for participants. Pray also for a strong European community of Christian content creators to be born out of this event, and new friendships and partnerships for all who come.
>Learn more and register online for MediaFest. Get the early bird discount rate when you register by February 29, 2020.
>Read our interview with bestselling Czech author, Sasa Flek, local host of MediaFest. Parabible: Bestseller in Central Europe’s most atheistic nation