Middle East is 'going backwards'
Founder and CEO of Christian satellite TV broadcaster SAT-7, Dr Terence Ascott, painted a gloomy picture of the Middle East in its latest 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 per cent of the world’s population. But in 2014 it was home to 45 per cent of global terror attacks; 58 per cent of the world’s refugees; 47 per cent of its Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) and 70 per cent 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, (pictured) a member of Crofton Baptist Church, said 'one ray of light in this dark vale' is SAT-7.
In 2016 SAT-7 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. It 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 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.'