A SAT-7 children’s show visiting Syria found churches full of displaced people learning about Jesus for the first time. Almost a thousand children – including hundreds from non-Christian backgrounds – gathered in the Syrian cities of Tartus, Bloudan, and As-Suwayda to meet presenter Mina Awny and the SAT-7 production team of Family of Jesus. The popular children’s show mixes music, […]
Being a voice
When SAT-7 first launched in 1996, a Christian viewer in Egypt was so startled to see an Arab presenter wearing a cross on TV, he called the channel straight away. “Mish Ma’oul! This is unbelievable!” he said. For more than 21 years, SAT-7 has been committed to being a voice for Christians and for many others who often go unheard in the Middle East and North Africa.
Since those first days, SAT-7 has given the region’s Christians the ability to go out from behind church walls (the only place where many MENA states legally permit them to teach and preach) to share God’s love wherever people live and are watching.
It also enables them to speak up for the equal value of women and children in patriarchal societies, to give support to people with disabilities in countries where disability is often associated with shame, and to promote dialogue and reconciliation across divided communities.
Smyrna Khalef - presenter and psychologist
Parents sometimes don’t give children a voice to explain that ‘I need to be respected; I need to be cared for; I need to be talked to in a positive manner and I will listen.’
Shoaib, presenter of 'Secrets of Life'
“For 800 years Christianity was destroyed in Afghanistan. Now the church is growing rapidly. From a handful of Christians 20 years ago, today we have thousands. Afghanistan doesn’t permit official churches. They meet in pockets of small groups and most are under 25 years old. They are the hope of the country that they will build the church.”
Challenging stigmas and discrimination
An array of programmes for women seeks to show them their God-given value. Semsa Deniz, presenter of Homemade, says, “the correct image of a normal Christian woman does not exist in Turkey. This programme wants to show a modern but ethically strong Turkish Christian woman.” Programmes like Insiders for viewers in Iran, Needle and Thread and Start from Here for Arabic speakers do a similar job of inspiring women and grappling with the challenges they face – from pressure to marry to domestic abuse.
SAT-7 has tackled the burden of stigma attached to disability in various ways, from a game show where able and disabled children competed together through to Obstacle Overcomers, a series that counters negative stereotypes by telling the stories and achievements of individuals with a range of impairments.
Programmes like Arabic current affairs show Bridges frequently spotlight cases of discrimination and persecution of Christian believers. But the show also invites representatives of different churches and faiths and various political and civil society leaders to offer a range of perspectives so that viewers can be better informed. The SAT-7 TÜRK Haber news programme is a unique TV news service for Turkish viewers, sharing worldwide news from the Body of Christ.
Amid a rise in religious intolerance “sensitivity” is key, Alistair Burt told delegates at a Conservative Party fringe event on Wednesday 3 October. “Incidents of religious intolerance and religious discrimination are on the rise across the globe,” Rt Hon Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Middle East, said on Wednesday. He was speaking at a prayer breakfast on religious […]
“Complex, powerful questions” were asked by a panel of MPs and NGO leaders on the UK’s treatment and integration of refugees at a Labour Party conference fringe event organised by SAT-7 and Christians on the Left. Heather Staff, of the Resettlement, Asylum & Migration Policy (RAMP) group, who acted as chair, was summing up the discussion involving MPs David Lammy, […]
Women around the world are bombarded with media images of physical “perfection”, leaving many feeling inadequate. Two SAT-7 women’s programmes are tackling the sources of this pressure. By exposing the illusion of perfection, the shows are helping Middle Eastern women feel beautiful as they are. Studies have shown that excessive social media use can lead to lower self-esteem and higher body dissatisfaction. […]
Disillusioned with religion, Hamid* sought escape from his painful circumstances in drugs and alcohol. His life was miraculously turned around when he watched SAT-7 PARS’ programme Principles of Faith and heard about a God who loves him. “I was afraid of God and thought that I would end up deep in hell,” Hamid reflects, remembering his childhood in Iran. Surrounded by religion from […]
The United Nations has urged Syria, Russia and Iran to avoid a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Syria’s Idlib province as Syrian forces and allies are poised for an offensive on the country’s last remaining rebel stronghold. The latest stage in the Syrian war is about to start with an imminent military operation against the rebel held city of Idlib. Over 60 […]
Soap operas are hugely popular in Turkey. But former soap actor Şemsa Deniz Tolunay reckons she has landed an even better role as host of the first live Christian women’s show available on Turkey’s national TV satellite platform. Homemade is a daily weekday show on SAT-7 TÜRK, the Turkish language channel of SAT-7. Since January 2015, the 50 million subscribers […]
Nineteen-year-old Joy Basta is a presenter on the SAT-7 KIDS programme A Riddle and a Story. Being raised a pastor’s son and surrounded by church community did not exempt Joy from negative pressures at school. Here he shares his experience and gives insight into the struggles of the region’s youth today. “Although I attended a Christian school, it was in a very rough area,” […]
Searching for something educational and engaging for his grandchildren to watch on television, Lebanese grandfather Boutros came across SAT-7 ACADEMY’s programme My School. Now, watching My School together has become a regular family activity that benefits and bonds two generations. Boutros is a retired carpenter from Lebanon. He looks forward to spending time with his grandchildren – eight-year-old twins Aya […]