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Religious TV channels on the rise across Middle-East

Wednesday 23 March 2016, by SIGNIS

Doha, March 23rd, 2016 (Lefigaro/Fides). According to a recent study made by the Northwestern University in Qatar, religious TV channels are on the rise across the Middle-East.

Assalamou Alaykomtv, Télé Lumière or Al Rahma tv : all these TV channels are religious ones, and free. The number of religious television broadcasters across the Middle East has risen by 50 percent since 2011, reflecting a rise in sectarianism in the region, according to the study. The number of religious free-to-air channels had jumped to 75 in 2014, from 50 three years earlier.

All the religions are represented, but Sunni television channels remain by far the highest in number and increased to 55 from 43, three years previously

Most of the Sunni, Shiite or Christian stations are dedicated to prayer and to the explaining of religious issues, but a few of them carry hate speeches. “Some of these religious channels are misused, sometimes calling for division more than dialogue and peaceful coexistence” said Ibrahim Al-Naimi, chairman of the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue.

Even if those stations are growing, it appears that their audience is still limied. According to the report, entertainments channels are by far the most popular in the region.

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