PTEE Says Middle Eastern Youth Influenced by Western Culture and Hollywood are Moving Further from the Church

Western influences are leaking into the Middle East, changing the next generation, the culture, and the way people respond to religion.

“Especially Hollywood. I think somehow this is one of the many issues. Somehow Hollywood is making the values of the world as if it was a new religion,” says *Yusef from Program for Theological Education by Extension (PTEE).

“The youth are somehow influenced by what they watch and [are] trying to do the same things, imitate the same things… and this make[s] them have struggle toward the Church and even in their life, in their study, or their work in the productivity or social interactions.”

Western Influence on the Middle East

There are many ways that this change is taking form.

For instance, Yusef says youths are speaking in English to each other, rather than in the Arabic language, their native language because they want to be more like people in Western cultures.

“They [are] just trying to change. They don’t want the language. They don’t want the culture because many times, your language is a mirror for the culture.”

Yusef says as youths speak in English more, they’re not just changing the language. Instead, they’re changing their culture, their mindset, and even their ethics.

“Everything is changing with language.”

Yusef says up until now, dating was unacceptable in the Middle Eastern culture, but with the influences of Hollywood and even Bollywood movies, tv shows, and music, it is becoming more normal.

But change this rapid isn’t necessarily for the best.

Yusef says he recently spoke with a pastor who said it took Western cultures forty to sixty years to come to a liberal and media-influenced culture, but so far, it has only taken the Middle East ten years.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lindsay Steele