An “out-of-this-world love and an out-of-this-world faith” are what the Middle East needs at this time, SAT-7 Lebanon Executive Director Naji Daoud told UK audiences as part of SAT-7’s “Hope in the Face of Hardship Tour”.
|SAT-7 Lebanon Director Naji Daoud|
The director of SAT-7’s Christian television station in Beirut highlighted especially how Lebanese Christians are loving their Syrian former enemies, even though Lebanon experienced a long Syrian occupation until 2002 and a civil war with Syrian involvement before that.
Despite these recent memories, Naji told meetings in Derby, Sheffield and Lincoln that Christians are the most active community in Lebanon giving Syrian refugees support. He shared how his own church is aiding some 80 Syrian families – just ten of whom are Christian – and they have been astonished by the kindness they have received.
Naji also spoke of the severe strain Syrian immigration was placing upon a small nation of 4 million people, in areas such as education where some schools now have 40 to 50 per cent Syrian children and economics, where some Lebanese are losing work to Syrian migrants.
Naji compared this overwhelming pressure to the apparently impossible demands Jesus’ disciples faced when they were called to feed 5,000 people. Only a supernatural, out-of-this-world love can meet the need, he said.
As an example of this love, Naji gave insights into how SAT-7 is supporting Syrian viewers of all backgrounds through its varied Christian programmes broadcast on satellite and streamed over the internet.
In November 2012 the Lebanon studios began a weekly live show Just For You Syria on the SAT-7 ARABIC channel with Syrian presenter , Nour Botros, and guests. Nour and a young woman presenter from Syria have now joined the team on SAT-7’s flagship programme for young adults, From Me to You. Through these and other shows Syrian viewers are able to call or text in their messages and questions.
|Episode of Just For You Syria|
“They are in a difficult situation and don’t know what to do,” Naji explained. “They are looking for someone to listen to them.” Through programmes like these SAT-7 becomes a forum for viewers to pray for one another across nations. “We’ll have a Syrian call in and then a Tunisian will say we are praying for you,” Naji explained.
Loubna, a young viewer of children’s show Let’s Sing Together, wrote to the programme asking “Why does the Lord allow this? Is it possible that we have sinned and don’t know it?”
Naji said he had similar questions when his own 14-year-old best friend was killed by a bomb in Lebanon’s civil war but he had no-one to answer his questions. “But through SAT-7 young people today have somewhere to go to ask their questions,” he said.