Iraq | SAT-7
Iraq is situated in historically significant Mesopotamia, where the first known human civilization, the Sumerians, lived and farmed the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Under the control of the Ottoman Turks until 1920, Iraq was assigned to the British after World War I under the name Mandate of Mesopotamia. It gained independence in 1932 under the revived Hashemite monarchy, which was overthrown in a military coup in 1958 by the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party.1 The party remained in power until 2003, with General Saddam Hussein as President from 1979 onwards.
Saddam Hussein was displaced as leader of Iraq following the US-led invasion of 2003. Jalal Talabani became Iraq's first elected president for more than 50 years in 2005.
Iraq has a population of 29 million people, of which 75% are ethnically Arab, 20% Kurdish, and the remainder a mixture of Iraqi Turkmen or foreigners.2 Unemployment stands at 15.4% with a quarter of the population living below the poverty line.3 Following the invasion of 2003, the country has been unstable security-wise, as well as in the ability to provide its people with basic healthcare and public services.
Data from a 2008 nationwide study in Iraq found that 97% of the population has access to satellite television and that 18.8%, or 5.3 million people, watch SAT-7. The study also found that 2.6 million are watching on a regular daily or weekly basis.
Iraq is 55% Shiite Muslim, 20% Sunni Muslim, 20% Kurdish and 5% Christian, of which the largest denominations are the Assyrian and Chaldean Churches. The rapid emigration rate of Iraqi Christians, an estimated 3,000 per year,4 indicates that the Christian minority has come under much persecution in recent years. There have been numerous incidences of violent attacks, kidnappings and murders against Christians in recent years.
“I am from Iraq and due to the circumstances that we have every day, we cannot go out very much. SAT-7 is the only source for our spiritual growth. I very much like the Christian songs because they are a source of joy and hope in the midst of the hardship we face.” A female viewer
1. BBC | 2. UNDP 2009 Report | 3.CIA World Factbook | 4. Amnesty International
CHANNELS IN IRAQ
""I would like to thank each one who works on my favourite channel, SAT-7. You are the source of blessing to my life. I pray that the Lord bless you and use you more for His glory.""A Syrian woman
"I started to read the Bible and to watch SAT-7 PARS. Gradually I felt some difference in my heart and realised that I love God. This even changed my mind on emigrating. Therefore I stayed in Iran and now I am one of your viewers. Your programmes are the only source I have to build my faith. "A viewer in Tehran
"I am a regular viewer of the programme 'From Me to You'. I am so blessed and my spirit gets lifted up by your prayers, songs and sharing. Thank you for today's topic. We really need to change. And may the Lord work in us more and more for His glory. "SAT-7 ARABIC viewer in the Holy Land
"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'
"SAT-7 reaches our family in this desert to give us hope where there is none. Our kids know Jesus through you and the miracles he is doing... Through this small TV screen, you reach our heart, we hear the news of Heaven and you give us relief, we feel home where we don't feel it and know we have a Big family in Christ, caring and praying and working."A family in Saudi Arabia
"You speak about God so openly and lovingly, not like they did at home. Pray that I will find a Bible and know God."
"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
"My family and I came to Christ and we are big fans and regular viewers of SAT-7. God bless you."Man from Morocco
"I was watching the programme 'School of Christ' and Pastor Sameh Maurice was saying, 'I came for you.' I felt that these words were addressed to me personally from God. I am so touched and moved. I also want to thank you for all the programs you are airing on your channel."A doctor in Egypt
"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
"Through Christ, you can get well and see light instead of darkness...Thank you for these programmes. They are teaching us to be better people."Afghan father who watches SAT-7 PARS
"“A friend gave me a Bible, and I bought a satellite dish to watch your programmes. I gave my heart to Jesus. Pray for me to learn more about Christianity.”"An Iranian 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 a big fan a regular viewer of your wonderful channel, SAT-7 programmes."Male viewer, Morocco
"I would like to thank you for your marvellous efforts in serving our children. Enough to say that we leave them in front of SAT-7 KIDS with full trust of your commitment to supplement our parenting."Parent in Egypt
"Although I am not a Christian, because of you I am becoming closer to God."Viewer in Kuwait
"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'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