Guest / Limited Access /
How Should Christian Satellite Networks Evangelize Muslims?
How Should Christian Satellite Networks Evangelize Muslims?

The stakes have been raised for Christian satellite broadcasting in the Arab world.

On November 28, a Cairo court sentenced to death Nakhoula Basilli Nakhoula and six other Coptic Christians—who all live outside Egypt—for their alleged roles in producing The Innocence of Muslims. The film, which mocks the Prophet Muhammad, prompted violent protests worldwide.

Nakhoula is relatively safe since he and the Way, the satellite channel that broadcasted the film, are based in the United States. But the sentence drew attention to how such channels have proliferated in recent years, seeking to present the gospel to Arab Muslims by—in part—directly criticizing Islam.

"Since satellite TV is widespread across the Middle East and is uncensorable, it is obviously a key way to make the good news of the gospel available," said Terence Ascott, CEO and founder of SAT-7.

The evangelical channel, which has broadcast from Cairo and Beirut since 1996, has a policy to never attack other faiths. "Exposing the faults of another person's belief system is best done face to face in love," said Ascott. "To do it through a broadcast can often lead to a negative reaction by viewers, and … local Christians and churches then pay the price."

"Outside Egypt, channels have freedom and use it without limits," said senior producer Sherif Wahba. "But we [Egyptian Christians] are the ones who get blamed."

This claim is rejected by newer channels that challenge Islam directly. "It is ridiculous to say this, because there has been persecution in these areas long before we did our work," said Abu Ali, director of the Life, based outside the Middle East.

He ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Real History of the Crusades
Subscriber Access Only
The Real History of the Crusades
A series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics? Think again.
TrendingHow 1,000 Women Who Aborted Feel About the Local Church
How 1,000 Women Who Aborted Feel About the Local Church
Survey: Two in three evangelicals were attending monthly or more at the time of their first abortion.
Editor's PickThe Colonists’ New Religious Mystery
The Colonists’ New Religious Mystery
Sorry, Pilgrims: Jamestown’s spiritual life is suddenly much more fascinating.
Christianity Today
How Should Christian Satellite Networks Evangelize Muslims?
hide thisJanuary/February January/February

In the Magazine

January/February 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.