Lebanon’s crisis deepens, threatens children’s ministry

By June 18, 2007

Lebanon (MNN) — Lebanon's crisis is deepening as assassinations and bombings continue. The conflict between the Lebanese army and al-Qaida-inspired militants at the Nahr al-Barad refugee camp near Tripoli continues into its fourth week. It's the worst internal violence in Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war. 

While not willing to call it an all-out "civil war," SAT-7's Debbie Brink says the fighting threatens to derail plans for their children's programming, the majority of which is produced in their Lebanon studio. "This is a really critical time for us, for our children's programming, because our plan and hope has been to launch a 24-hour-a-day children's channel in September. This office and studio is where the primary amount of programming will be produced."

That's a reference to studio space that just recently came open right next to the current Lebanon offices. Plans are in the works to finish transforming the warehouse into a workable television studio from which to finish production for the children's channel launch.

It's still not safe enough to bring in children to the taping segments, but it does mean they can move forward. Children are often forced to watch TV to stay safe from the violence of their war-torn countries, making it crucial for SAT-7's team to make their ministry deadlines. 

Brink explains, "There's so many programs coming out of other parts of the Middle East for children, targeting them and encouraging them to consider martyrdom. It's just such a negative picture of what a child should be seeing everyday. We provide a totally opposite perspective, one of hope and love. It's an amazing contrast." 

The vision for the children's channel is to see it cover the entire Arab world–22 countries and 5 time zones–and would include programs from many different countries across that region.   The channel will feature science discovery, bible readings, prayer requests, as well as other programs from several countries in the region. If you can help, click here.

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