Middle East News

  • Exciting Growth for Satellite Ministry
    Children watching SAT-7 TV
    Photo: Mission Network News

    SAT-7, a Christian satellite TV ministry that is reaching many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, recently received new viewership statistics, and the results are exciting! While it is difficult to obtain viewership information for some channels, such as those reaching into Iran and Turkey, responses indicate significant growth in the Arabic ministry and the Kids' Channel.

  • ISIS Fighter Converts to Christianity
    mideast shadow cross

    Pastor Abraham had been threatened many times for boldly sharing his faith with Sunni Muslims who were crossing the border from Syria. But the threats toward his family were becoming increasingly frequent and more serious. For several months, he had been dealing with mounting internal fear. He knew of no better way to combat that fear than to pray and ask the Lord for strength.

    One day, while working outside his house with an electrical saw, the blade suddenly popped off and caught him in the mouth. Had the blade hit him a few inches lower, it could have severed an artery in his neck. If it had been a few inches higher, it could have blinded him. As he stood in shock for a moment, he sensed God's Spirit impressing upon him: "I am in control of when your life will end. Stop being scared." At that moment, Abraham's fears were calmed.

    In the same area that Abraham had been ministering, an ISIS fighter named Fadi was recruiting Muslims to fight for the terrorist group. When several people at the refugee camp told him about the Christian evangelist, Fadi was infuriated. The ISIS terrorist decided to personally kill Abraham.

    When Fadi appeared, walking towards the Christian's home, Abraham was ready. The Lord had prepared the evangelist for this moment: "Speak to (Fadi) strongly and directly; don't be afraid," he was admonished. As Abraham began to speak the words God had put on his heart, Fadi began shaking uncontrollably. "I want salvation," the convicted terrorist earnestly pleaded. Abraham assuredly told him, "Jesus will forgive you of your sins." On hearing this, Fadi began to weep....

    The evangelist prayed with Fadi, whose life was dramatically transformed after accepting Jesus as his Saviour that day. Four months ago, the former terrorist was baptized at Abraham's church where he continues to meet for discipleship. The new believer has since led his wife to the Lord, and is now boldly sharing his faith with others at the refugee camp.

  • ''Thousands Upon Thousands Coming to Christ!''
    A Syrian church that was destroyed in attacks by rebels.
    A Syrian church that was destroyed in attacks by rebels.

    Here is an encouraging message from our Arabic broadcasters in the Middle East....
    Despite the mass exodus of many Christians, the church is far from empty in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and other parts of the Middle East. God has been very faithful. There are strong Christian believers remaining, and tremendous growth is taking place in the lives of new believers who were Muslims. The presence of the church is vitally important. People are desperate and see very little hope, but the fact that there still is a church gives them encouragement and hope.

    Historically, Middle Eastern Christians have made significant contributions for the good of society, especially in Syria and Iraq, going all the way back to the first century. Their contributions include working in the areas of health, literacy and the translation of the Bible into Arabic. They were among the first to introduce charitable works and work with missionaries and NGO workers. They are often recognized as the most honest when it comes to business and trade. In the future, Christians will be vital to maintain diversity and ensure sustainable peace and lasting stability in the Middle East.

    We are in regular contact with our FM stations in Iraq and have talked with many people who have family in the Middle East. Some of our Middle Eastern broadcasters have shared testimonies with us (which they hear directly from listeners when visiting there). They are sharing exciting news of what God is doing in the Middle East. There are thousands upon thousands coming to Christ. May the Lord be praised and worshipped with great honour! He is worthy!

  • Thousands of Children Tune to Christian TV

    A United Kingdom-based charity, known as Sat7, which focusses on broadcasting the Gospel in Arabic to the Middle East and North Africa through an engaging television series, has reported that over nine million children are tuning to the SAT-7 KIDS programming. The television program is imparting truths, positive values and education to children in a fun and engaging way while making it possible for them to learn within the safety of their own home environment. It is invaluable to parents who are seeking a trustworthy source of Christ-centred entertainment and education within their homes.

    The executive director of SAT-7 KIDS says of the report findings: "It is very encouraging, but it really is the hand of God. Our KIDS team is so terribly small and we are working with a very small budget." Additionally, the channel's programming manager adds: "They say that with a million people, you can change a country. With nine million, you can change a whole region."

    In spite of the challenges, SAT-7 KIDS is always seeking to take the programming one step further by improving its interaction with viewers. There are two live weekly programs that currently elicit a lot of direct responses from the audience because viewers can call in and talk to the hosts.

    Last December, a fresh interactive website launched for SAT-7 KIDS. The channel's presence on Facebook and YouTube also lets viewers comment on shows. Overall, the number of responses has quadrupled in the past three years.

    One Iraqi girl states: "Please pray that I will keep Christ in my heart and never leave Him for any reason. This request is not only for me but it is also for you and for everyone on this earth...." The mother of another child in Iraq also appreciates the ministry: "My daughter is six years old. She is always watching these programs. Please send us more Bible stories."