Pray for the work of SAT-7
Your prayers are vital to SAT-7
SAT-7 provides the Church of the Middle East and North Africa with an opportunity to witness for Jesus Christ through inspirational, informative and educational television and online broadcasts 24/7. Prayer is at the centre of our work.
On the edge
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
Oppression and injustice are rife in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups are routinely denied, resulting in much suffering. As Christians, we are called to support those who are marginalised and discriminated against. They are precious to God, and as such, should also be in our hearts.
God has given SAT-7 a very prominent platform to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” via satellite TV and, increasingly, online. In this month’s News and Prayer, you can read about how SAT-7 is both highlighting and addressing the problems faced by different groups who are on the very edge of the societies in which they live.
These include Christians who are persecuted for their faith and refugees who have been forced from their homes by conflict. In all of our programming, SAT-7 is aiming to foster tolerance and understanding between different groups in the MENA region: to demonstrate how the love and grace of God makes it possible for us to love and accept others.
A message of hope for Iran's persecuted Christians
A new series on SAT-7 PARS is helping Iran’s growing house churches “develop techniques of endurance” to persevere through persecution.
God and the Persecuted, which started on 29 June, is bringing encouragement from Scripture and Church history to strengthen Iran’s underground Christians.
Mansour Khajehpour, Executive Director of SAT-7 PARS, explains why this programme is so important for believers in Iran. Speaking as someone who came to Christ from a devout Shia background at the age of 15, he said:
“People constantly lose their jobs, are disowned by their communities and family members, kicked out of schools and work places, beaten on the streets. I have the joy and honour of saying I personally experienced most of those.”
Some 83 Christian men and women are currently known to be in prison for their faith in Iran. When they are released, there will be no work for them, and they cannot easily meet with other believers.
God and the Persecuted is presented by two well-known Iranian-born pastors, Albert Aslan and Edward Hovsepian. Each episode starts with a short look at an aspect of modern-day persecution, followed by 20 minutes examining suffering in the first three centuries of the Church. This is then considered in the light of teaching from 1 Peter.
The goal is to come alongside Iranian believers and help them respond Biblically to adversity and to draw on God’s grace and strength.
Mansour added: “Everyday the SAT-7 PARS team gathers together and prays for our viewers. We want to have a message of reassurance that will give them the peace of Christ, and say, ‘You are not forgotten. You are part of the bigger Body of Christ and the rest of the Body will advocate for you, we will pray for you, we will care for you, we will stand by you’.”
Strong response to show uncovering refugee abuse
The discrimination and abuse suffered by Sudanese refugees in Egypt was exposed in a special episode of a popular SAT-7 show for women.
Needle and Thread interviewed Sudanese refugees about their experiences of racism and exploitation, with many describing incidents ranging from verbal harassment to physical assault.
Producer Maggie Morgan said: “Once I started asking questions to the Sudanese people, men, women and children, I felt like we opened a Pandora’s box of daily, recurrent and negative experiences. It seemed unbelievable that no-one had said these stories on TV before.”
Natalie, from South Sudan, described how she has endured repeated harassment during her nine-year stay in Egypt. On one occasion, her six-year-old son came back from an errand bleeding after being attacked. But her experience has not been entirely negative; she said that for every Egyptian who abuses her, there is always another who defends and helps her.
"I pray there will be peace in Sudan and that we can go back and live with our families. I also pray for all the Sudanese in Egypt — help us Lord. Thank you SAT-7 for your concerns and taking the time to talk about our issues."
The episode clearly had a powerful impact on its audience. Live callers offered encouragement and sympathy to Sudanese refugees, explaining that many Egyptians also face discrimination in their daily lives. One apologised on behalf of his countrymen for the offences Sudanese refugees have suffered in Egypt.
The show’s influence extended online when clips from the episode were posted on the Needle and Thread Facebook page; they went “viral” and were picked up by secular websites. One of the videos called “Being a Sudanese in Egypt” reached more than 374,000 people and had more than 89,000 views. Read more on this story
Youngsters learn from life behind the lens
A comedy series on SAT-7 KIDS is taking young viewers behind the scenes of a fictional TV station run by children and teenagers.
"Peace of God to all who work at SAT-7 KIDS, with great appreciation and thanks for the wonderful effort you put in. I can proudly say that your channel is the first and only channel I can leave my kids watching, trusting that they will be safe and happy, and learning good behaviour.”
Each 40-minute episode promotes a particular Christian value, such as tolerance, positivity, democracy or equality. The characters learn from their experiences of interacting with each other, and present these lessons to the viewers through various segments, culminating in a choreographed dance at the end of the episode.
KIDS TV is produced by Ibrahimia Media Center (IMC) for children aged 9-16. Producer Michael Isaac said: “Teenagers want to be masters of their own decisions. They are at a stage where they rebel and discover their talents. This programme lets them express themselves and see how other teenagers are using their talents in the best way.”
After a positive response to the first series, KIDS TV is back for a second in October. Topics will include relationships, organisation, leadership, punctuality and social media.
Give thanks for the incredible spread of the Gospel in Iran, and pray that the Lord will strengthen His persecuted people there.
Pray that God and the Persecuted will be a great encouragement to Christians in Iran and other Farsi-speaking countries who are suffering because of their faith.
Give thanks that SAT-7 has a public platform to expose and challenge discrimination and injustice in the Arab world.
Pray that the impact of this episode of Needle and Thread will be far-reaching, leading to greater understanding and acceptance within Egyptian society.
Pray that the new series of KIDS TV will prove popular, and that young viewers will take on board the show’s positive messages.
Give thanks that parents feel their children are safe watching SAT-7 KIDS. Pray that the channel will be able to build on the healthy
relationship it has developed with families across the Middle East.
Day of Prayer Pack
SAT-7's International Day of Prayer
On the first weekend in November every year we ask our faithful supporters from around the world to join us in a day of prayer for the work of SAT-7. This is often a great way for you to introduce SAT-7 to your church, or to encourage your church to engage in a deeper way. We provide resources to help you pray, with video and presentation material.