Syria | SAT-7
Syria was administered by the French until independence in 1946. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to neighbouring Israel, over which negotiations continue to this day.
Syria has witnessed intense and spreading conflict since the government cracked down violently on the first popular protests that were part of the democracy movement sweeping the Middle East in 2011. In July 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared the country to be in a state of civil war. Since that time a bitter and escalating conflict has claimed over 90,000 lives, drawn in thousands of militant fighters from abroad and threatens to spill over into neighbouring countries. In view of the Syrian regime's use of military force against its own civilians 100 nations have now recognised an opposition coalition, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, as Syria's rightful temporary government. The authoritarian government of President Bashar Al-Asad’s National Progressive Front, meanwhile, clings to power.
Over a million Iraqi refugees fled to Syria to escape violence in Iraq after the 2003 collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime. This put great strains on Syria's public services and caused security concerns along the border. But Syria's own chaos has, since, overtaken this. Over 4.25 million Syrians have been internally displaced and over 1.4 million have fled to neighbouring countries. Syria’s human rights record is generally considered poor, with those who criticize the government at risk of arrest, unfair trial and imprisonment, being banned from travelling abroad and from working in the public sector.
Precise audience figures are not available. However, SAT-7’s Audience Relations staff report regular messages from viewers in Syria.
Syria’s population is 74% Sunni Muslim, with 16% practising other sects of Islam, and a 10% Christian minority.1 Although there is no state religion, the constitution stipulates that the President must be Muslim. Until recently Christians living in Syria have claimed that they are largely tolerated by the government and allowed to worship freely, but discreetly. The current conflict risks splitting the country on sectarian lines, with the Sunni Muslim majority aligned against the President's Alawite (Shia Muslim offshoot) minority, and Christians seen as being generally supportive of the government.
“Many thanks for your good programmes and your huge efforts to reach the entire Arab world with the Word of God in Arabic, which we badly need. Because I trust SAT-7’s ministry, I dare to quote what Jesus said: “You are the light of the world” and to add that SAT-7 is God’s voice to us today and reflects His will. We love you and pray for you.“ A male viewer in Syria
1. CIA World Factbook
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"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
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"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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"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