Holy Land | SAT-7
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
‘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.
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 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’s broadcasts are watched by Arabic speakers in the Holy Land but precise viewing figures are unknown.
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
1. CIA World Factbook
CHANNELS IN THE HOLY LAND
"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
"How does God speak to people? Pray He will speak to me or appear to me, so I can know He is real and have peace like believers have. "Viewer in Egypt
"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
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"“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
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"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