Senior church leaders from the Middle East have commended the work of SAT-7 on its 25th anniversary of broadcasting on 31 May.
In a special Zoom meeting, His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London and Papal Legate to the United Kingdom, shared his introduction to SAT-7 with 150 SAT-7 staff and trustees from around the world. In 1994 he was Private Secretary to Pope Shenouda in Egypt when SAT-7 Founder, Terence Ascott “came to see Pope Shenouda to float this crazy idea of a Christian satellite television network”. Today Archbishop Angaelos is chair of the international board of that improbable vision!
He said, “This has been an unprecedented year but it has been a time when SAT-7 continues to be a source of blessing around the world.”
Dr Michel Abs, Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches, referred to Jesus’ parable of the lamp in Matthew 5:15-16. He said, “With this ministry the candle is not under the table. The candle is on the table and is able to give light to the world.”
SAT-7 continues to be a source of blessing around the world.”
Bishop Paul Sayah, former Maronite Archbishop of Haifa and the Holy Land and longtime council member, said. “I’m one of those who met Terry 25 years ago. We didn’t know what was going to happen. Here we are 25 years later celebrating a wonderful ministry. This tells us how close and how great is God’s presence to every one of us.”
Bishop Marcos, Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Shubra al-Kheima in Egypt, remembered how, after beginning a Christian magazine for Egyptian readers, Dr Ascott started to establish a channel for all people who speak the Arabic language and many churches cooperated with him”. Now, he said, “We ask God to complete the vision and attract many people to the Christian life and faith.”
Archbishop Youssef Soueif, Maronite Archbishop of Tripoli, Lebanon, thanked God for “this jubilee of SAT-7” and spoke of visiting students at a church school in the district where almost all the pupils are non-Christians.
He said the students there live in an area that is blighted by almost daily conflict between two ethnic and religious communities from which they come. The Archbishop said he was reminded of “the mission of SAT-7, of how SAT-7 is transmitting the message of love, peace, reconciliation, brotherhood and encounter where members of society can accept each other. Our presence in the region is very, very important because of the [Christian] culture of love and of mercy.”