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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.
The struggle to forgive
"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
Could you forgive the person who murdered someone you love dearly?
This is not a hypothetical scenario for Joseph Hovsepian, the director of Closure, a short film that is being shown on SAT-7 PARS. His father Haik was killed in Iran in 1994; targeted because of his Christian ministry.
Closure provides a powerful insight into the harsh reality for Christians in Iran. And though we may not experience the intense persecution of our brothers and sisters there, the film has a universal message in its gritty portrayal of both the call and the struggle to forgive.
For we all face times when we have been wronged, and have to wrestle with our emotions as we seek to be obedient to Christ's command to forgive.
Watch this space for details of when Closure will be available in the UK.
Powerful film shows harsh reality for Iran’s Christians
"From that moment on, everything became dark… I didn’t know how I could cope with this loss.”
This is how Cyrus, the protagonist of Closure, describes his feelings after the murder of his father by the Iranian authorities. He is just 10 years old when their peaceful family home is raided by the Islamic intelligence service, and his father Dariush is taken out and shot.
The short film is based on the real-life story of Joseph Hovsepian, the writer, director and producer, and his brother Andre, who plays the older Cyrus in the film. (The young Cyrus is played by Ryan Sadaghiani, who starred in American Sniper).
Their father Haik Hovsepian, the Chairman of the Council of Protestant Churches of Iran, was brutally murdered in 1994. He was a prominent opponent of the country’s restrictions on religious freedom.
SAT-7 hosted the UK premiere of Closure in London on 12 and 13 June, and the film is now being screened exclusively on SAT-7 PARS to viewers in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan until mid-September.
As well as highlighting the harsh reality of the persecuted, Closure also considers the persecutor; their struggle with guilt and need for redemption.
Joseph said: "I hope that it will connect with the inner feelings of persecuted Christians, and encourage them that it is possible to forgive. A lot of Christians in Iran are going through that journey.
“The other message, for the non-believer, is for them to know that the central point of Christianity is forgiveness. That's what Jesus did for us, and that's what we are expected to do towards others.”
Read more here.
Inventive comedy drama helps kids to help others
The adventures of a teenage inventor will teach young viewers how they can use their talents and skills to help others in a new children’s comedy drama on SAT-7 KIDS.
Dokdok’s Family is currently being produced and will go on air soon. It is the first children’s drama series on SAT-7 KIDS for 16 years, and the makers are pulling out all the stops with a robot and an animated boy among the cast.
The title character, 13-year-old Dokdok, takes after his father Momtaz in his love of inventions. But while Momtaz is rather clumsy with his creations, causing a lot of trouble, Dokdok is able to correct his father’s mistakes and rescue the situation.
One of the main aims of Dokdok’s Family is to encourage young viewers to be helpful and to use their gifts and abilities to bring happiness to others. The family exemplify this in the way they offer advice and assistance when their neighbours and friends face problems.
“I thank you so much, you are a wonderful channel that attracts kids more and more through the variety of your spiritual and educational programmes. God bless you and keep you always on top and from glory to glory."
Producer Monir Zakhary said: “We’ve noticed a lot of our programmes are being watched by non-Christians so we’re looking to do more programmes with a more indirect message. That’s why we’re teaching social and spiritual values and ethics through a drama like Dokdok’s Family.”
Although still in the production phase, the show has already attracted the attention of the Egyptian media. News website el-Fagr ("Dawn") described it as “a unique television experience” because it addresses children’s issues, which are not included in most TV productions.
SAT-7 TÜRK attracts growing and varied audience
SAT-7’s newest channel, SAT-7 TÜRK, has been receiving encouraging feedback from viewers across Turkey — and beyond.
The number of people contacting the channel by phone, email and Facebook is increasing, and their messages reveal that SAT-7 TÜRK is attracting a varied audience.
After gaining a licence and a frequency to broadcast on Turkey’s national satellite Türksat, SAT-7 TÜRK started broadcasting a full schedule in mid-February.
A caller from Ankara said: “To listen to Christian songs and pastors explaining their beliefs is very exciting. I hope you will be on air long-term.”
A viewer from neighbouring Azerbaijan wrote on Facebook: “I am the only Christian where I live. I really like this channel and it encourages me so much. May God keep blessing you, love you so much.”
Seekers and non-believers are also watching SAT-7 TÜRK. One viewer wrote on Facebook that, despite following a different faith, the Christian teaching and sermons were very interesting, adding: “I follow them excitedly”.
A caller from Izmir said a teaching programme had helped to answer some issues that had bothered him for years, adding, “I love the Christian faith very much but there is a lot of pressure from my family. My Dad especially doesn’t like things like the Bible in the house.”
A viewer from Ardahan, who came across SAT-7 TÜRK while channel-hopping, said: “I especially liked the movie explaining the Prophet Abraham's life. I had previously read the Bible, but I do not really understand it; are you able to help me?”
Give thanks for the Hovsepian family, who are such a testament to the grace of God in the way they have responded to the loss of Haik.
Pray that Closure will be watched by many people in Iran and beyond. Pray that it will bring hope and comfort to persecuted Christians, and that it will also speak to non-Christians — and even persecutors — about the forgiveness of Christ.
Pray for the makers of Dokdok’s Family as they finish the production of this new programme; pray that all will go smoothly.
Pray that the show will attract a large audience when it airs on SAT-7 KIDS, and that it will be a positive influence in the lives of young Arab families.
Give thanks that SAT-7 TÜRK is attracting viewers in Turkey and elsewhere. The channel needs to increase its budget; pray that the Lord will provide so that the team can produce more new shows.
Pray for the viewers of SAT-7 TÜRK, that the programmes will help them to learn more about Christianity and draw closer to God.