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 have Christian roots and it makes me really happy that I’m able to watch a Christian channel without any problem. So I’m tuning in and watching from early each morning in order to understand Christianity. What better way to spend your retirement could there be? Thank you so much. "Retired teacher in Turkey
"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
""Dear brothers and sisters, I live in Azerbaijan and I am the only Christian where I live. I really like this channel and it encourages me so much. May God keep blessing you." "SAT-7 TÜRK viewer
"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
"I send my deepest thanks and appreciation to every person who works in this channel that has changed my life from zero to 360 degrees towards God. "SAT-7 ARABIC viewer in Egypt
"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 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
"Yesterday evening I came across you while channel surfing. I watched a couple of very nice programmes. I especially liked the movie explaining the Prophet Abraham's life. I had previously read the Bible, but I do not really understand, are you able to help me?"Student in Turkey
"“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