Complex histories, changing borders, migrations, and multiple ethnicities and languages mean that the Church in the Middle East and North Africa is a mosaic of different Christian communities. Sometimes the relationships between them don’t reflect the unity Jesus envisaged for His Church (John 17:21). Sometimes they just don’t know each other!
One of the benefits of SAT-7’s ministry over 25 years is how its programmes have introduced members of different Christian denominations and communities to each other and strengthened love, understanding and cooperation. In this blog, SAT-7 TÜRK Executive Assistant Annamaria Cedolin shares how our Turkish channel has been working hard to do this in her country. And, in an encouraging new video, SAT-7 TÜRK Executive Director Melih Ekener shares some of the results.
Watch video: SAT-7 TÜRK Executive Director Melih Ekener explains how the channel has built trust across Turkey’s many small Christian communities and is giving them a united voice to speak to their fellow citizens.
If there is one thing worse than not having a lot of Christians living in Turkey, it is the division amongst Christian communities that do live in this country. So we have made it our mission to act as a bridge between all the different Churches serving in our land.
Just consider for a second. We have: the Protestant Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, the Armenian Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox and Catholic Churches and the Chaldean Catholic Churches. Overwhelmed? Exactly!
But what if we could look more at what unites these Churches? What if we put aside all the small differences, and focused on the amazing things that make us all the body of Christ? Can you imagine the richness of culture, the experiences, the wonderful points of view, the prayers, the testimonies and most of all the brotherhood that would emerge?
So that is what we have tried to do for many years and finally, it feels like we have made it. How?
First, we have built a great bond with the leaders of all these Churches. We have approached them saying that we want to be their voice on-screen and online. We have invited patriarchs, bishops, pastors, and clergymen and women to come and make programmes with us. We have held seminars called “A career in TV” that invited all community members to come and be a part of our SAT-7 TÜRK family. We have drawn up protocols to ensure long-lasting relationships between these Churches and our channel. We have contacted one person in each Church to report to us on all the updates concerning their Church and community in order to represent them in our SAT-7 TÜRK News segment. And this is just the beginning! Imagine all the different projects this will enable us to come up with!
To end on an even more amazing note, I would like to invite you to imagine how all this makes us look to the non-Christian viewers we have. This huge, unified community, focused on love, mercy and forgiveness. A community that lives to help their neighbours and bring light to scatter the darkness. A community of people who glorify God even in the worst of situations saying that their experiences have brought them closer to a God who walks right beside them.
Courage, my beautiful family! Let’s have courage and carry on doing what we are doing because God is with us. Let’s unite and change the world today.