“I came to Christ a year ago. The Kabul situation is dreadful. Please help us! The lives of my eight-year-old daughter and my own are both in danger.” This message from a single father in Afghanistan is typical of the urgent cries for help SAT-7 has received in the last few days.
A 16-year-old girl messaged: “People are terrified, everyone is afraid and scared of the Taliban… I’m crying out to God right now; someone please help us.”
Although not on the ground in Afghanistan, SAT-7’s Christian television and media network is responding to the Taliban takeover with special programming on SAT-7 PARS, its Persian language channel, with intercession, and through its viewer support teams.
“We are receiving prayer requests from our Afghan viewers,” says Panayiotis Keenan, Executive Director of SAT-7 PARS. “They are afraid, facing a dangerous and uncertain future, and they feel abandoned. We continue to stand by them and support them through our programmes and Audience Relations teams.”
Keenan appealed to Christians around the world: “Please join us in praying for them.”
A special live Prayer for Afghanistan programme on Tuesday evening (17 August) united Afghan and Iranian Christians in prayer and solidarity for Afghanistan’s most vulnerable citizens, including women and children, fellow Christians and minorities.
SAT-7 PARS is running emergency on-screen text, calling Persian-speakers to prayer, on all its broadcasts and social media platforms.
“The situation in Afghanistan escalated shockingly fast since Friday,” says Reza Jafari, Creativity Manager of SAT-7 PARS and presenter of Signal, a live programme that includes many viewer stories. “We are heartbroken at the plight of the Afghan people and exploring the best ways we can support them in both the immediate and long-term future.”
“Please be our voice”
An Afghan viewer who came to Christ two years ago said, “For quite a while I was inviting my relatives and close people around me to get to know Christ, but sadly in the past two to three days, my family and I have received death threats. In this emergency situation, I have no other way but to escape from the country. Please be our voice, please help us to be heard so that we can flee from this hell as soon as possible.”
In the first six months of 2021, SAT-7 PARS witnessed an increase in audience engagement from viewers in Afghanistan, especially on Facebook. As well as Farsi language programmes that many Afghans understand, SAT-7 PARS currently broadcasts two Dari programmes specifically for Afghan viewers. Many share how they came to Christ through the channel and how much its broadcasts mean to them.
Panayiotis Keenan asks: “Please pray for Afghanistan and its people. Pray for all those impacted by the violence and those seeking a means of escaping the country. Please pray that the rights of Afghanistan’s women, children, and men will not be ignored and will be upheld. Pray against violence and oppression. Pray for Christians and ethnic minorities who fear being singled out and targeted. Pray for hope, mercy, justice, and healing in Afghanistan.”
Why are Afghan Christians among those most vulnerable in a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan?
Notes to Editors
Founded in 1995 and broadcasting since 1996, SAT-7 is run by and for the Christians of the Middle East and North Africa and broadcasts Christian and educational programmes to 25 million viewers in Arabic, Persian and Turkish via its four 24/7 TV channels and digital platforms.
For interviews and further information, contact Lindsay Shaw, Press Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org