From .......... NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER
October 25, 1996
CATHOLIC MEDIA WILL NOT BE BANNED
The Lebanese government has agreed to allow a [Roman] Catholic TV network and a [Roman Catholic] church-run radio station to continue their broadcasts, said a spokesman for the Maronite Patriarchate.
[Maronite Roman Catholic] Cardinal Nasrallah P. Sfeir, Maronite patriarch, met Oct. 10 with Prime Minister Rafic Hariri to discuss Lebanon's new media law, designed to close most of the country's TV and radio stations, said Fr. Michel Atwit, patriarchate spokesman.
The government had threatened to close the stations after adopting new regulations in a move to reorganize the country's media. The new media law also suppresses some 50 other television and 150 radio stations.
Christian television journalist Salam Eid, who works for a TV station not part of the [Roman] Catholic network, said, "The patriarch said he felt good after the meeting (with Hariri), but we will have to see if Hariri keeps his promise."
The move to shut the stations effectively quieted all opposition television and radio stations, said retired south Lebanese Col. Sharabel Barakat. He said many Christians saw the attempt to close the [Roman] Catholic stations as a prelude to closing Christian schools and possibly even churches in the future.