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Lebanon's identity crisis may be coming to a head

Lebanon's identity crisis may be coming to a head as clashes between anti-government forces and the government intensified last week, reports MNN.

SAT-7's David Harder confirms that the fighting trapped some of their staff and could disrupt SAT-7 KIDS channel broadcasts.

The morale of the team in Lebanon, consisting of about 20 full time staff plus many free lancers, is currently very low. "Everyone is worried that the fighting could escalate, literally, becoming much more street-to-street fighting than what we've seen already. And that is the fear: that more groups would be drawn in, that the fighting will become more intense, involve more people and really become a civil war."

Anti-government forces seized control of the main road leading to the Beirut airport, sparking street clashes and closure of the airport itself. Harder said that trapped their Programming Director in Lebanon, and also one of their Lebanese producers was stuck in Cairo.

The instability threatens to disrupt some SAT-7 broadcasts because of distribution complications. According to SAT-7, broadcast tapes for SAT-7 KIDS are created in Lebanon and then shipped to Europe on a daily basis. If the airport remains closed, it may prevent the team from shipping out the tapes.

Other daily programs for youth and women are also made in Lebanon and could be disrupted. The sea port remains open, but the main road out of the country through Syria has been closed, and only a secondary road remains open. The team has another way to get programs delivered but at a substantially higher cost.

In addition, delivery of a satellite uplink dish which will enable the Lebanon team to send its programs directly to the satellite from their studios has been delayed. "We had hoped to have that dish in place by now, but the company we were working with has had some serious problems. The dish is scheduled to be shipped at the end of May. We would ask that people urgently pray that the dish would arrive safely in Beirut," adds Mr. Harder.

He asks prayer for the team. "They're going to continue to try to make programs and, like they have in the past, they're able to bring in pastors who can speak about what life is like, relying on Christ, in the middle of a crisis. They're not just speaking about it in theory, they're living it. Viewers know when it's real, and people respond."

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Christian Telegraph