Founder and CEO of Christian satellite TV broadcaster SAT-7, Dr Terence Ascott, painted a gloomy picture of the Middle East in its 2016 Annual Report. Warning that the entire region was “going backwards in development terms”, he pointed to a series of grim statistics that underline the crisis across the Middle East right now.
The Arab World comprises just 5% of the world’s population. But in 2014 it was home to 45% of global terror attacks; 58% of the world’s refugees; 47% of its Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) and 70% of total battle-related deaths. Those numbers have dramatically worsened since then, as by 2016 the ongoing conflicts in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq directly affected 60 million people.
Dr Ascott said “One ray of light in this dark vale is SAT-7. In 2016 we responded to many of the huge needs facing the region with special programmes about overcoming trauma and giving tips on how to survive life in a refugee camp. We have also built a growing library of educational programmes for broadcast to children who are not only unable to attend school – but who also have no realistic prospect of ever doing so.”
2016 marked SAT-7’s 20th anniversary of broadcasting to the Middle East. From very humble beginnings, it has now grown to be the region’s largest Christian broadcaster.
Ascott concluded, “In the midst of all this turmoil, pain and grief, and with the growing influence of ‘fake news’, people are hungry for authenticity, truth and hope. There has, therefore, never been a more important time to be a Christian broadcaster and digital media provider in the Middle East.”