Last updated 23 December 2013
A united Christian service of prayer in Damascus will be broadcast on satellite television across the Middle East on Christmas Day, 25th December.
Christian broadcaster SAT-7 will transmit the two-hour programme from the event at 9pm Damascus time on the SAT-7 ARABIC channel (on Nilesat/AB7 at 7 degrees West, Txp 8, 11,353 GHz, Vertical and online in the UK at http://www.sat7.org/tv2/TV2_arabic.html)
The event was hosted by the Christian Unity Church of Damascus and recorded on Saturday 21 December. Members of the Presbyterian Church, Baptist Church and Jesus of Nazareth Church in Damascus, along with many other guests from across the city and beyond, joined with the Christian Unity congregation. Choirs from other churches in the area also participated with songs and prayers.
Maissa, the programme’s producer, is a well-known producer and presenter on Syrian National Television. She said, “Hatred is filling many people’s hearts, but we trust God and this is why we want to air these prayers on SAT-7 – to give the message of hope and [assure viewers] that we will continue praying until we see change.
“God is strengthening us”
“We are celebrating Christmas … knowing the God of all peace is strengthening us despite all of this pain. We also want viewers to watch this and pray for us from all over the world! “
George Makeen, SAT-7 ARABIC Programming Manager, commented: “In the midst of great suffering, persecution and bloodshed, we as SAT-7, are excited to partner with this body of believers to show the world that the Church in Syria has not lost their hope and they are believing for a brighter tomorrow!”
He said the purpose of broadcasting the gathering was to show that Syria’s suffering people are not forgotten and to share the enduring Christian message of hope and light with viewers drawn from the 9.3 million Syrians needing assistance in the country and 2.3 million refugees who have fled for shelter in neighbouring states.
Maissa, the producer, said those attending the meeting had put themselves in danger: “There is a lot of risk for this type of event because of the war and particularly for Churches, which may be targeted during times of celebration. However, we trust the Lord and will continue praying and singing, ‘Glory to God in Heaven and peace on the land of Syria’.”
These prayers were answered as SAT-7 received a message over the weekend from George and Maissa saying there was a great turnout for the gathering and everything went smoothly and without incident.
SAT-7 has partnered with Maissa and the Christian Unity Church, covering all the production costs and broadcasting fees for the airtime. SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS channels are avidly watched by many Syrian viewers and have regularly addressed the Syrian crisis since it began in March 2011.