SAT-7 Arabic Christian TV Channel Goes Live on 10th Anniversary
The once-thought impossible Christian-targeted broadcast in the Arab world is soon to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The first Arabic Christian Television Channel SAT-7 announced that it will go live with its anniversary event on 31 May and plans to launch two new channels.
|TOP|"The future is very exciting," said Terence Ascott, SAT-7's founder and CEO, in a released statement.
When the idea of an interdenominational Arabic channel for Christians in the Middle East and North Africa was first proposed, doubts were raised over its launch and collaboration of the local churches. No one had ever made such an attempt. Plus, it was too costly and risky.
Despite the skepticism, SAT-7 went on the air on 31 May, 1996. A group of 20 local churches and international ministries partnered together to create a media enterprise owned and directed by a Middle Eastern board and staff. With the blessing of local churches and recognition from national governments, the Arabic channel began a weekly broadcast of two hours.
Its mission is simple yet one that had not been fully pursued in the Arab world. The channel was created to see a growing church in the Middle East and North Africa, confident in Christian faith and witness, serving the community and contributing to the good of society and culture. In order to operate openly in the Arab world, broadcasts, which now 24 hours a day, have been made to be culturally sensitive, interdenominational, and non-political. Biblical truths are presented in a manner not to attack other faiths.
|AD|"Part of the SAT-7 vision is providing Arab Christians with a medium through which they can contribute to the good of society, and these positive social-impact programs are doing just that," said the Rev. Dr. Habib Badr, Senior Pastor of the National Evangelical Church of Beirut, and SAT-7’s chairman.
"Unfortunately, in many parts of our region, there is a great deal of misunderstanding about who Arab Christians are and about their role, both historic and current, in building and improving society."
Christians account for approximately four percent of the Arab world today. SAT-7 serves to empower these Christians by providing them with inspirational and educational programs.
Some five to six million people watch the channel each week, according to Intermedia research. And as viewers keep increasing, many also accept Jesus Christ into their lives.
Currently, SAT-7 airs programs for children, Farsi-speakers in and near Iran and Turkish-speaking audiences in Turkey and other regions of Central Asia. Near future plans include launching a separate channel for Persian and Turkish viewers.
"With new emergent technologies, including wireless broadband Internet and G3 video for mobile phones, we have many new avenues through which we will be able to touch many more lives," said Ascott.
"As we move to seize these God-given opportunities, we are grateful to every person, church, ministry and organisation that has given and prayed for SAT-7 over its first ten years, and we trust that you will continue to support the mission and vision of SAT-7 well into the next decade."
To made donations to SAT-7, visit www.sat7.org.
Christian Today Correspondent