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Christians fear violence in Lebanon may spread

Lebanon (Mission Network News) Clashes between Lebanese troops and Islamic militants are spreading from the north, near Tripoli .

A bomb blast Monday night near Sidon , in the country’s south, fed fears that civil war is inevitable.

Sat 7’s David Harder says some of the apprehension stems from the fact that this latest blast occurred in Bouchrieh suburb, a Christian neighborhood.

It follows a string of bombs in and around Beirut that have exploded since May 20. “It certainly seems that it is targeting Christians. It may be a political motivation. There are many different groups, many factions that some groups would have an interest in drawing into the fighting for whatever reason.”

Naji Daoud, the SAT-7 Lebanon Country Director, says this one was close to home. “A bomb went off just one street away from a staff member’s home, injuring ten people in a shopping area. Our employee was driving home at the time, but fortunately she didn’t drive down the street where the bomb detonated. It was a loud explosion, and we all heard it. When she got home, her parents and sister were in tears, but fortunately they were not injured.”

Officials also recently discovered and disabled a car bomb in the Christian part of the city. While the blast rattled staff nerves, it won’t stop them from presenting the hope of Christ via satellite television.

SAT-7 crews continue to work on programs and are busy looking at ways to expand their studio facilities so they can increase production and support the launch of the new SAT-7 KIDS channel. SAT-7 is hoping to have that channel on the air later this year.

Harder says their regular programs remain a source of comfort: “Our staff are able to really be part of the fabric of society within the Middle East and show that, yes, Christians undergo difficult times, but yet, at the same time, they have hope in Christ. And there are many principles in the Bible that can help during these difficult times.”

Naji adds, “Please pray for that this current situation will be resolved. The overall political climate in Lebanon is not good, and many people are worried about the future.”