SAT-7 has launched its latest programming initiative to support isolated and persecuted Christians in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Starting this month (2 November), Church4Afghanistan has begun to complement the network’s TV and digital programmes in Dari and Farsi, and take advantage of the unrestricted availability of Facebook and Instagram in the country and the interactivity this enables.
Panayiotis Keenan, Executive Director of SAT-7’s Persian language channel, SAT-7 PARS, says, “We are launching Church4Afghanistan following the successes of two other live social media programmes, Church4Kids and Sanctuary of the Heart (mixing Persian language prayer and biblical encouragement).
“We strongly believe that the church in Afghanistan will grow, and we see similarities between what is happening in Afghanistan today, with what happened in Iran 40 years ago. Through Church4Afghanistan, we want to further support the Christians in Afghanistan by providing them with a platform through which they can access Christian resources and receive mature Christian teaching in Dari, their own heart language, as well as make their voices heard.”
The weekly programme will be presented by Noorullah Noor, an Afghan assistant pastor living in Germany. Noorullah will be joined by different Afghan guests who will discuss with him various Biblical topics and relate them to the current situation in Afghanistan, especially the situation for Christians living there under its new Taliban rule.
For many years, SAT-7 has served Afghan audiences by broadcasting two Dari-language programmes, Secret of Life, and Window of Light, produced by SAT-7 media partner Pamir Ministries. Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the network has also produced two seasons of a Dari pre-recorded programme Following Christ¸also fronted by Norullah Noor, which will be broadcast on satellite television in the coming months.
Keenan said, “Our efforts to reach viewers in Afghanistan have been fruitful. There was a doubling of Afghan viewers in 2017 after we changed our satellite provider and in the past couple of years, we have seen a further increase in engagement from our Afghan viewers. Since Facebook is not blocked or restricted (as it is in Iran), the largest group (48.6%) of SAT-7 PARS Facebook followers are from Afghanistan, many of whom have been sending us messages asking for Christian material and prayer, as well as sharing their struggles and testimonies under repressive Taliban control and amid the country’s deep economic problems.
“Please pray for the SAT-7 PARS team and our viewers in Afghanistan. Ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance so that this will be a fruitful ministry as we seek to support the isolated and persecuted Church in Afghanistan.”