Instability in the Middle East prompts ministry curriculum

By March 31, 2008

Middle East (MNN) — The murder tribunal for the former
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is moving forward, a
process that may further inflame tensions between Lebanon and Syria. The Security Council has decided to seek
the truth behind Hariri's killing and 22 others in the massive car bombing on
Feb. 14, 2005.

Syria denies any involvement in the attack, but the row it
caused forced Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon after a 29-year presence.

The new International Independent Investigation Commission
chief will release his first report, with the Security Council to begin
discussions in early April. 

Meanwhile, Arab leaders are also gathered for a summit
dealing with the challenges to peace. Lebanon's grievance is expected to overshadow
the talks, but leaders also hope to address the Palestinian territories and

SAT-7's David Harder says the instability has taken its toll
on the church: "We want to provide them with the tools they need to
grow spiritually, which they may have difficulty accessing because of conflicts
in the area. But through television
and through satellite television, we are able to bring them those

Because some church leaders can't safely attend classes at a
seminary, SAT-7 decided to take the seminary to them. The ministry hosted a special meeting with 17
seminary leaders from across the high-conflict areas of the Middle East and North
Africa to present the idea and get things rolling.  

Harder says SAT-7 will be helping to produce a series of certified
distance-learning programs called "TEACH," or "'Theological
Education for Arab Christians at Home." "This is a way that these seminaries
can get together. They can look at the needs of the audience, and they're
coming together with some special curricula to meet the needs of basic
discipleship and those who need advanced tools to be able to lead their

Their goal is to be able to have students finish the
curriculum with a diploma from one of the participating seminaries. Production is underway, and Harder says they're
hoping to have some programming on the air by this summer. Pray that the producers would have wisdom for
content, as well as understanding to meet the viewer's needs. Pray, too, for safety of those seminaries
involved and for the believers who will participate.


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