SAT-7 TÜRK combines a passion for cycling and Bible teaching in the unique new programme One Bike, Seven Churches. It tackles the book of Revelation within the ruins of the seven ancient churches of Asia Minor – all of which are found in modern-day Turkey!
Filled with visions and prophesies, the book of Revelation is famously difficult to understand. Nevertheless, equipped with a Bible, a bike and a production crew, Engin Yıldırım, a pastor and the presenter of this exciting new programme, cycles across western Turkey on a mission: “To teach our viewers about the message in these letters and what the history of these seven churches means in today’s Christianity.”
“As a pastor, I’ve always found the letters written to the ancient seven churches of Asia Minor fascinating, and relevant to Christians and churches today,” Engin says. “When I visited these places and saw these once-magnificent world-class cities in ruins, I was reminded that there are a lot of spiritual lessons to be learnt from these letters.
“It also happened to be that I could combine this interest of mine with my favourite hobby – cycling!”
CYCLING ACROSS TURKEY
Covering over 500 km, the SAT-7 TÜRK team follows Engin, the former pastor of the Anglican Resurrection Church in Pera, as he travels to the ancient churches of Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.
Many people are unaware that the seven churches mentioned in Revelation are all located in Turkey. As such, the programme will have a strong appeal to Turkish viewers, as it visually demonstrates Turkey’s Christian history.
“We knew that a programme about the seven churches would be widely watched and be popular because they are in Turkey,” states Can Yazırlıoğlu, the programme’s director.
Combining sport, Bible teaching, history and archaeology, the programme has something to offer to all audiences.
“We wanted to make it colourful and attractive, and we wanted it to be different from our other Bible teaching programmes. We needed something more active. Filming the programme on location has made it livelier,” Can explains.
“When we filmed, it was August and very hot,” Elgin remembers. “But it was a lot of fun!”
A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON REVELATION
Written in a period of persecution for Christians living in Turkey over two thousand years ago, the letters in Revelation should offer encouragement to the small Christian minority in the country today.
Standing among the ruins of the ancient church in Thyatira, Engin explains the purpose and importance of this programme:
“The main reason for this project is to explore the book of Revelation, and especially to look at the letters written to these seven churches. Just as the words in these letters encouraged and advised the ancient churches, they can still encourage and advise Christians today.”
“At each church, I talk a bit about the city and what the church was like in the first century, and then I look at the spiritual lessons that could be taken from it: what encouragements and warnings we should listen to today,” he says.
“I do hope that it will be a blessing to many people.”
- Pray that SAT-7’s Turkish audience will be excited and inspired to learn of the Christian history in their country.
- Pray that this new programme will help viewers gain a better understanding of the book of Revelation.
- Thank God for the SAT-7 TÜRK team’s passion to make the Bible more accessible.