Christians in Tunisia are sharing the hope they have in Christ through a new SAT-7 programme as their homeland – once energised by the potential for change – faces political crisis and an uncertain future.
The Gathering launches at a moment of heightened tension in Tunisia. On 14 January, the eleventh anniversary of Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” uprising, hundreds of demonstrators defied a ban on protests. Many have been angered by the suspension of parliament since last July. At the same time, the first episodes of The Gathering, a TV series produced in Tunis that shares testimonies, locally recorded worship, and Christian teaching, began to air on SAT-7 ARABIC.
At this moment when people are searching for hope and meaning, programmes like The Gathering are a vital opportunity for local Christians. SAT-7 producer Moez Mediouni says believers are eager to share the message of God’s love with others and shape the national narrative to one characterised by Christian hope and values.
“In the absence of a major, visible physical presence, the Church’s witness through the media is vital”, Mediouni says.
He explains that The Gathering’s biblically based conversations on topics like integrity, trust and delegation, ethics in the workplace, friendship, and transparency demonstrate what healthy, loving relationships within families and communities can look like.
“Please pray that our media work will help share the Church and its values with the wider society,” he asks. “Pray for the doors to open amid all the political and economic changes. Pray that people will open their hearts, and pray for the Church to grow and be unified.”
Light for a young Church
Shining a biblical light on everyday life and relationships also gives guidance and encouragement to believers in the country’s young Church.
“I gave my heart to Jesus eight years ago,” viewer Hamsa from Tunisia wrote to say. “I have been watching SAT-7 ARABIC for many years now, and I have been so blessed by you; I have benefited a lot from your testimonies.”
The Gathering is the second series produced by Perpetua, a new production house and SAT-7 partner that is based in Tunis. The first series, Standard Talk, was a discipleship programme that discusses family and social issues from a biblical perspective. Separate programmes have explained the meaning of Christmas and Easter and shown how believers in Tunisia celebrate while living as a small minority.
SAT-7 also follows up with viewers in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco through the dedicated social media page, Free Souls, which shares content in the Tunisian dialect that speaks particularly to North Africans.