On 28 January the authorities in Egypt returned all confiscated equipment to the SAT-7 studio in Cairo, more than three months after its seizure by the country’s Censorship Police. The equipment was received back in good condition.
“We are grateful that all the equipment has been returned in good shape, including the un-edited programmes on the hard drives,” says SAT-7 Egypt’s Director Farid Samir. “We’re thankful that the local police station stored it all safely.”
The authorities came to the SAT-7 offices with a search warrant on 10 October 2015. They removed much of the studio’s production equipment, including cameras and all the computers used for editing. Mr Farid was temporarily detained, facing charges associated with licensing issues. He was released after six hours.
The work of the Egypt team has been limited since the raid. No live shows have been running and relatively few programmes recorded. However, the ARABIC and KIDS channels have been able to screen live programmes from SAT-7’s Lebanon studio and programmes produced by our partners as normal.
Mr Samir says he is relieved. “During the last few weeks, our spiritual muscles were stretched. But the support of the worldwide Church kept us encouraged.”
SAT-7 still does not know why the Censorship Department found it necessary to remove all the equipment. However, we are thankful for the support we have received from local churches, our legal team and viewers – and for prayer and financial support from friends of the ministry across the globe.
“We look forward to again seizing the opportunity of serving God, and this is a blessing we do not take for granted,” Mr Samir says. “Through this difficult period, we have experienced the mighty hand of God and the power of the unity of the Body of Christ.”
Praise and prayer
Please join us in giving praise to God for the return of SAT-7 Egypt’s equipment. Pray that the team will quickly be able to resume their normal activities, that the remaining legal issues will be fully resolved and that SAT-7 Egypt will face no further problems with the authorities.