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ICC Note: A recent study in Qatar confirmed that religious channels are significantly increasing in the Middle East.  While some of the growth is attributed to Islamic channels, the most significant growth of “religious” channels was Christian channels which rose from a merely 2% of broadcasting in the Middle East to 9%.  

3/17/2016 Qatar (Agencia Fides) – The number of religious broadcasters throughout the Middle East has risen by 50 percent in just three years from 2011 to 2014, rising from 50 to 75 religious channels “free to air” (not encrypted).

The expansion of networks and religious broadcasting has been documented and analyzed in a study prepared by Northwestern University in Qatar (academic institution specialized in journalism, communication, affiliated with Northwestern University, US private universities) and presented to the media last week.

The significant growth is due to the contribution of even Christian and Shiite networks, but the lion’s share are Sunni issuers, which increased from 43 to 55. Shiite channels passed from 5 to 11, while Christian channels increased from 2 to 9, obtaining the highest growth in relative percentage terms.

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