Iran | SAT-7
Known internationally as Persia until 1935, modern day Iran has an average population of 66 million. One of the first areas to be occupied by Islamic armies in the 6th and 7th centuries, Iran maintains much of its religious history in its present-day culture, in the form of architecture, art and literature, which continue to draw inspiration from aspects of traditional Shiite Islam. The official language is Persian, which is considered by many in the area to be the language of intellectuals.
Iran became an Islamic Republic in 1979, following the Iranian Revolution, when Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the monarchy and established a very conservative, theocratic regime, relying on religious scholars to create and implement new laws. Presidents are elected by popular vote, but the heads of judiciary, media, police and military are appointed by the Supreme Leader, a religious scholar and Ayatollah, who is the only person in Iran with the authority to declare war or peace. The president is the second highest ranking official in Iran. The legal system operates under Sharia Law.
Iran is home to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan refugees. An estimated third of these are illegal migrants. There have been increased reports in recent years of child and woman trafficking from refugee camps across Iran for forced marriages, cheap labour and for the settling of debts. Due to its proximity to Afghanistan’s poppy fields and inefficient border control, Iran has one of the world’s highest opiate addiction rates.1
Surveys conducted in 2011 indicate that around 1.7 million people over 15 years of age watch SAT-7. In addition around 5 million Iranians admit to being aware of SAT-7 PARS, SAT-7’s Farsi language channel.
The majority of Iran’s population, 89%, are Shiite Muslims, with another 9% Sunni Muslims, and a minority Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christian population. Shiite Islam is the official religion. Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism are all officially recognised in Iran and the constitution grants freedom of religion. However, the reality for many Christians is one of opposition, discrimination and detainment.
“I am calling on behalf of our house group; we are 10–15 Christians altogether. We were recently caught by the authorities and cannot fellowship anymore. Please pray for us to be able to meet again. At the moment your programmes are the only fellowship we have.” A man from Shiraz
1. CIA World Factbook
CHANNELS IN IRAN
"May God bless you all. We ask Jesus to extend His hand, as nothing is too difficult for Him. We pray that He would give comfort to victims’ families in Aleppo and all of Syria. And we pray that He would stop this storm."A Syrian viewer of 'Just for You'
"I'm Maya, 3 and a half years old from Amman, watching your bedtime story every night and can't go to bed before listening to your stories. Mama also watching with me."From a young child in Jordan
"In a remote village in Afghanistan a Christian worker met an Afghan man who invited him to his house. There he switched on the TV, showed him SAT-7 PARS and said, “This is where I get my food from.” This man also invites his friends to come and watch SAT-7 PARS in this remote village."A viewer in Afghanistan
"May God bless your work! This was a very sweet episode! May the programme make a big difference in our country, in the name of Jesus!"A Syrian viewer of 'Just for You'
"Your programmes provide such a wonderful opportunity for me to explain to my children what we believe as Christians in ways they understand. It really is a precious thing to have this channel."A MOTHER IN TURKEY
"I am from Morocco. I want to serve Jesus with all my heart. Thank you for being the source of encouragement and my spiritual growth. God bless you."A woman in Morocco
"Five years ago I started seeking for the truth in different religions. I was lost, confused and wanted to reach out to God. I really needed comfort and peace. Thank God I found peace and the truth through the programmes and the songs on my favourite channel SAT-7."A woman from Saudi Arabia
"I came to know Christ through your programmes. I tried to talk about Jesus to my family but they didn’t want to listen to me. So I turn the TV on during your programmes and, without saying a word, allow your programmes to talk to my family about Jesus Christ. And now they sit and watch the programmes!"An Iranian woman from Tabriz
"Hello to you dear SAT-7 PARS team. I would like to thank you for all your nice programmes. I came to Christ a few months ago and your teaching programmes helped me to improve in my Christian faith. I am thinking of getting baptised and I would like you to advise me where can I go to get baptised."A SAT-7 PARS viewer
"Finally, a Syrian programme has come to us! May God bless you and use you to the glory of His name."A viewer of 'Just for You'
"I am touched by the sermons that I’m watching every Friday. I’m not able to go to church but God has opened a door for me to attend a church service in my house every week! I never thought that one day I would see bold Algerians worshipping the Lord and not afraid to be shown on TV."An Algerian viewer
"We have a lot of believers in Israel who watch SAT-7 and we want you to pray with us for the salvation of many people in the Holy Land."A viewer in Israel
"My son loves many of your programmes. I can leave him to watch SAT-7 KIDS without any fear that he will see information, advice or ideas that are not from the heart of God."A mother of SAT-7 KIDS viewer
"I came across your website by chance. I never knew that Christianity is such a beautiful religion. Your site has helped correct many of the misconceptions and wrong ideas I had about the Christian faith and about Christ. I desperately need to know more about Christianity to be delivered from the aimless and hopeless life I presently live."A viewer in Morocco