Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Arab nations move to regulate satellite TV.
Middle East-Arab satellite television channels face tighter restrictions on the content they broadcast. The charter, sponsored by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, calls on stations "not to offend the leaders or national and religious symbols" of Arab countries.Offenders risk the loss of broadcasting permits. SAT-7's David Harder responds: "We, at SAT-7, are not overly concerned about this because it seems like they are specifically relating to channels that may be making strong anti-government political statements or even very strong religious statements attacking one faith or another."When asked if SAT-7 could be targeted with this regulation, Harder could only say, "The simple answer is that we don't know, but we hope not. How we might be affected would depend upon how tightly or loosely the law is interpreted."According to the document, channels should "refrain from broadcasting anything which calls into question God, the monotheistic religions, the prophets, sects or symbols of the various religious communities." However, the ministry programming does "conform to the values of Arab society" because their programming represents the local minority Arab Christian community and its values.Harder hopes that their focus will protect their ability to share Christ in the region. "We don't talk about politics or political leaders, and we don't attack one religion or one denomination or another. Instead, we talk about Jesus. We feel strongly that, whatever the purpose of this regulation, we will stand out and hopefully will not be affected."He says part of their purpose is to build bridges of understanding between the communities. Their ethos actually conforms to these points and has given their staff a good reputation which would be a strong defense against any who might attempt to use this law against SAT-7.Pray for continued favor with local officials and for the ongoing safety of their operations in the region.
As in the days of Noah...