Holy Land | SAT-7

History

The State of Israel was founded in 1948. This followed a brief civil war between Arab Palestinian and Jewish communities after the November 1947 UN vote to partition the former British mandate of Palestine. British forces withdrew in 1948 and the State of Israel declared independence.

Since the late 19th century, Jewish people had been emigrating to the Holy Land, influenced by Zionist calls for a Jewish homeland. Migration continued when Britain took over from the former Ottoman Empire after World War 1, and increased after the Nazi Holocaust and UN vote for partition. Palestinian Arabs had mostly been native to the Holy Land. The civil war and subsequent 1948-49 regional Arab-Israeli war led hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee and become exiles from their homes.

Without effective governing institutions in the former mandate, remaining areas of Palestine came under control of Jordan (the West Bank) and Egypt (the Gaza Strip) until their capture by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. A subsequent United Nations resolution (Resolution 242), calling for withdrawal of Israeli forces from newly occupied territories, and for recognition for states (including Israel) to live in peace within secure, agreed boundaries has been central to attempts to settle the Arab-Israel conflict.

‘The Holy Land’ has remained turbulent for over 60 years. Palestinians resent the loss of homes and land and aspire to have their own independent national status. Israelis, meanwhile, have felt threatened by those Arab states like Syria, which remain hostile to its existence, and fearful of violence by Palestinian militants. Since 1993’s ‘Oslo Accords’, agreed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Palestinians have begun to take steps towards self-rule in Gaza and the West Bank. However, progress has been held up by clashes and divisions between the Fatah party-dominated Palestinian Authority, governing the West Bank, and the Hamas movement currently controlling the Gaza Strip.

Government

 The Israeli government is a parliamentary democracy in which Zionist parties dominate and are split between social democrats, conservatives and Jewish religious parties. Israel transferred security and civilian responsibility for many Palestinian-populated areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to a new Palestinian Authority (PA) between 1994 and 1999. The PA has a democratically elected president and elected government in the West Bank. However, agreement between Fatah and Hamas has so far proved impossible and led to Hamas’ seizure of government institutions in Gaza in 2007.

Social Issues

Social unrest is dominated by the tensions between Palestinians and Jews and wider regional tensions, such as frequent rockets attacks since 2006 by the Lebanon-based militant Hezbollah party. Another issue has been the remaining settler communities on land claimed by Palestinians and their freedom to come and go without the military restrictions Palestinians experience. The lack of access to land for Palestinians, including restrictions caused by Israel’s security barrier, add to their economic difficulties. Unemployment rates contrast sharply with those for Israelis. In the Gaza Strip, some 38% of people are estimated to live below the poverty line.1

SAT-7 Viewership

SAT-7’s broadcasts are watched by Arabic speakers in the Holy Land but precise viewing figures are unknown.

Religion

 Religious affiliation in Israel is split between Judaism (75%), Islam (16.9%), Christian (2%), Druze (1.7%) and others (3.8%). In the West Bank, Muslims (mostly Sunni) comprise 75% of the population, Jews 17% and Christians and others 8%. In the Gaza Strip, 99.3% of the population is Muslim (mainly Sunni) and Christians 0.7%. 2

Prayer Points

    • Give thanks for the faithful witness of Christians, despite the social, religious and political pressures they often face.
    • Pray for progress towards peaceful, just self-rule in Gaza and the West Bank, and for just policies on behalf of the Israeli government towards Palestinian and Jew.
    • Pray that Palestinian Christians in Gaza and the West Bank will not be targeted by militant factions but will be able to model just and peaceful responses to their struggles.
    • Pray for those Arab Christians and Messianic Jews in Israel who seek to work together as people of reconciliation and pray that they will be able to promote understanding and united witness.


1. CIA World Factbook
2. CIA World Factbook

CHANNELS IN THE HOLY LAND

viewer quotes

"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

"To the most beautiful channel in the world. I am from Egypt living in Saudi Arabia. I would like to thank you so much for your great ministry which has dramatically changed my life here in this country."

Viewer in Saudi Arabia

"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

"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 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

"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

"Thank you for your wonderful programme "Daughter of the King". I learnt a lot about how I should treat my future wife as I am now in the search for someone to marry. God bless you."

An Egyptian man

"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