Thursday, September 15, 2011

Christian TV Expands Its Middle East/North Africa Footprint

It may seem odd, but a Christian TV network for and by people of the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region is expanding its footprint and making inroads despite regional turmoil and fears of rising Islamic fundamentalism.

"We don't attack Islam and present the Christian faith in a positive way, on women, disabilities, and other matters," said Terence Ascott, CEO of Sat-7. "We don't want to get into a debate, into a polemic, on the air."

In 15 years of existence Ascott and his associates have attracted over 15 million viewers in a region that's mostly Muslim -- not by converting Muslims, but by creating an environment that's less hostile towards Christians.
"It's a human right for everyone in the world to hear the Christian message and decide whether or not to embrace it. It's our right to propagate the truth of our faith," he added.

It may seem like a tall order for this transplanted Brit who has lived in the Middle East for decades and hops around from his Cyprus headquarters to run five satellite TV ministry channels, primarily in Arabic, but more recently in Farsi (Persian) and Turkish.

One way to avoid issues that divide Christians where so many denominations and sects exist, is not covering the sacraments, though some programs about how different churches define the sacraments may be aired.

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