SAT-7 looks back on a year of crises in the Middle East and North Africa, and explores how we have responded to viewers in need of support.
From the devastating earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria in February through to the present, tragic and ongoing conflict in the Holy Land, SAT-7 has sought to bring peace and joy to viewers across 25 countries in the MENA, in three languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In a year of natural disasters, wars and unrest, our channel teams have engaged with individuals on a one-to-one basis in some of the worst affected areas, offering much-needed encouragement and personal prayer through our viewer support teams.
In this video, SAT-7 highlights how our four channels have brought a timely message of love directly into the lives of millions of people this year. With our team broadcasting on the ground in parts of the MENA, we’ve been able to film from and stream to some of the most challenging areas, standing in solidarity with people most in need of support and encouragement.
Fundamental to our programming ministry is engaging personally with individuals seeking to understood and explore the Christian faith. Each of our channels has a dedicated viewer support team staff by trained specialists who offer one to one communication for people who want to ask questions about our programmes, understand more about having a relationship with Jesus, and connect with local church networks. We have had 75,901 such conversations* with viewers across our channels this year and received many powerful testimonies of people who have come to faith.
Viewer support – an encounter with Christ in Tunisia
Habib is a new believer in Tunisia who came from a non-Christian background. He was instilled with a curiosity to know more about Christ as he engaged with our Arabic programs. He reached out to us on our Facebook page, asking for guidance on how to keep following Jesus and to learn to hear His voice.
Habib explained that he was dissatisfied with the usual religious rituals he felt obligated to perform and decided to renounce his beliefs in order to study other faiths and ask God to show him the truth. He then described a dream he had: “I had a dream of the cross, and I heard a voice calling. From that point on forward, I focused on studying Christianity and I encountered the truth.”
After sharing with him more about faith in Jesus, he expressed how grateful he was that Jesus brought him to the SAT-7 support team.
Social media is a key mechanism for many people in the region to watch SAT-7 content and engage with our programming due to the benefits of mobile devices in areas of the world where access to a TV is not always possible. This year we have had 280,993 new Facebook followers, seen 20,578,549 YouTube video views and recorded 46,044 watch time hours on SAT-7 PLUS.*
Responsive, compassionate programming
Throughout the humanitarian crises of 2023, SAT-7 has used compassionate programming to share messages of solidarity and hope whilst keeping our viewers informed and inviting feedback.
Earlier this year, the Middle East saw two powerful earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks cause massive destruction across southeast Türkiye and northwest Syria. Over 55,000 people lost their lives and approaching 130,000 were injured. It was the Turkish Republic’s worst disaster in a century.
SAT-7 TÜRK has worked hard to support a grieving nation with the aim of channelling God’s love and comfort, as well as offering practical advice. Live programmes such as Worldview offered prayer, gave information about churches that were providing shelter and food, and drew on Scripture to address feelings of confusion and anger. A film crew travelled to meet people in the affected area as soon as the authorities gave them permission.
More recently, as part of our response to the Holy Land conflict, our Arabic channel has been giving a voice to the local church and responding to local viewers who message our channels seeking prayer support.
Last month, SAT-7 ARABIC’s live current affairs programme, You Are Not Alone, gave a visible platform for influential church leaders, commentators and mediators to discuss the key issues and promote the need for dialogue and peaceful resolutions. A Different Angle gathered Christian leaders across the Middle East to add their voices to the calls for peace, justice, and reconciliation. In The Voice of the Church in the Midst of Hardship, a special two-hour live show jointly hosted by our Beirut and Cairo studies, messages of peace, unity and faith were broadcast across the region on SAT-7 ARABIC, Facebook Live, and YouTube.
Reflecting on a year of unprecedented challenge for the MENA, SAT-7 CEO Rita El Mounayer said. “Many thousands of people across the MENA have lost loved ones or experienced horrific personal tragedy this year, due to some of the worst disasters and conflicts the region has experienced. If there was ever a time for hope, it has been needed this year. Our teams have worked tirelessly to bring powerful messages of love and support to millions of people via our programming and digital resources in 2023. We won’t rest in our efforts to continue sharing the messages of solidarity and peace which Christ first gave us, as the rest of the world prepares to celebrate Christmas.”
*Figures represent data from January – September 2023. Complete annual totals will be available from Spring 2024.