Doha (Agenzia 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.
According to a Northwestern academic, Khaled Hroub, highbrow of Middle East politics and Arab media, the rise of religious television networks "reflects a flighty narrow-minded politics that has been engulfing a segment for a past decade or so, given an American advance of Iraq in 2003 and a sectarianisation of Iraqi politics". According to the expert, also with an intensification of Saudi-Iranian adversary in years many channels started to trip into domestic discourses that would brew with eremite claims. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 17/03/2016)