Christian TV service in the Middle East celebrates its seventh anniversary

( [email protected] ) Jun 26, 2003 01:23 PM EDT

SAT-7, Arabic Christian television channel celebrates its seventh anniversary of broadcasting the gospel to the Middle East and North Africa despite the inferior environment and religious barriers, ASSIST News reported on 23.

SAT-7 started on May 31 1996 in the most difficult region to broadcast the gospel to. At the beginning SAT-7 only broadcasted for 2 hours every week but now it broadcasts a total of 120 hours of programming every week in Arabic language.

Terry Ascott, SAT-7 CEO said, "seven years ago, the first viewer called and said 'Mish Maolua' or 'This is unbelievable.' This was the response from many new viewers. The viewers were so excited to have a Chirstian broadcasting service in their own language."

"There was also a difficult time that we had no available program, no studios. We were very few and we didn't even have a camera."

Now SAT-7 has grown and expanded as a professional broadcasting company with 100 staff worldwide. More than 50 percent of the programs are producted in SAT-7's own studios in Lebanon and Egypt.

"It wasn't easy to start Christian TV service in the Arab world where Christians are not welcomed. But nowadays, media is the strongest tool for spreading the gospel," he said.

The seventh anniversary was celebrated at SAT-7's studio in Cairo with many church leaders and supporters from many denominations.

The celebration was inplemented as a special birthday show and also broadcasted on air. During the international economic crisis, donors from all over the world helped SAT-7 to maintain its regular services.

Currently there are about 7-11 million views on a regular basis and it is broadcasted 16 hours a day on the digital channels and 8 hours a week on the analog channel.

SAT-7 has partnerships with over 30 leading agencies including the United Bible Societies, Campus Crusade for Christ and also churches in the Middle East such as Egypt, Lebanon and Kuwait.