Christian broadcasters in Middle East say 'spiritual hunger' is growing as viewer responses treble

Spiritual hunger is growing in the Middle East and North Africa, according to Christian radio station broadcasting to persecuted Christians and unbelievers in the region.

"In the past two decades, many conflicts have overtaken or drawn in more than half the countries SAT-7 serves, Iraq and Syria in particular. But these conflicts, and extremism in the name of religion, have only increased the profound spiritual hunger for our programming," said SAT-7's founder, Dr Terence Ascott.

The viewer responses to SAT-7's broadcasts has risen threefold in just five years, from an average of 270 a day in 2010 to well over 800 a day in 2015.

The common theme from the viewers that get in touch is that people across the MENA are crying out for worth, meaning and peace, according to SAT-7.

"SAT-7 is enabling the Church to be salt and light in society, to be a prophetic voice and show a different way forward. This is a prime time for us as a ministry and it comes at a time when political Islam has been discredited and people are looking for answers to man's inhumanity to man," said Ascott.

In a region of the world where 500 million people live, fewer than 10 per cent have ever met a Christian, yet over 90 per cent have access to satellite television.

SAT-7 reaches 15 million people on five channels from four Middle Eastern studios in three languages - Arabic, Farsi and Turkish.

The channel works with both isolated persecuted believers and introduces the Gospel to people who have not heard it before.

"It is a fantastic time for us to available in millions of homes that are totally inaccessible to other forms of witness, with a Gospel of love, peace, hope and reconciliation," said Ascott.