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 190,000 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 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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"Thank you for today's sermon by Dr Maher Samuel. We really need to hear these words; to change the reality with Jesus living in us and to live the life of victory over sins, the life of sanctification and to return to the Word of God.""Viewer of live service from KDEC church, Cairo
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"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
"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
"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 came across Levent Kinran’s programme on your channel. For years, there have been some issues that really bothered me, and he gave great answers to them. Is there a book that I can read? I love the Christian faith very much, but there is a lot of pressure from my family. My Dad especially doesn’t like having the Bible in the house."A viewer in Turkey
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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