“Our friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ in Afghanistan, are telling us how afraid they are – that their lives will be snuffed out. It is a very dire situation,” says Mikael Tunér, a SAT-7 PARS Partner. Following the shocking Taliban takeover, SAT-7 calls for prayer as the channel responds with intercession and special programming to support viewers.
“We are receiving prayer requests from our Afghan viewers. They are afraid, facing a dangerous and uncertain future, and they feel abandoned. We continue to stand by them and support them through our programs and Audience Relations teams. Please join us in praying for them,” says Panayiotis Keenan, Executive Director of SAT-7 PARS.
Thousands of people are attempting to flee Afghanistan as the Taliban take control of the country, leading to chaos at the airports and raising fears of abuses against women and children. Additionally, the safety of minorities, including Christians, is in question.
SAT-7 PARS is running emergency crawling text across viewers’ screens, calling Persian speakers to prayer on all its broadcasts and social media platforms. A special live program featuring both Afghan and Iranian pastors will go live on social media today, and Audience Relations staff are also responding.
“The situation in Afghanistan escalated shockingly fast since Friday,” says Reza Jafari, Creativity Manager of SAT-7 PARS and Presenter of live program Signal. “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.”
Edin*, a SAT-7 viewer, messaged SAT-7’s Audience Relations team to share that he does not dare to carry his mobile phone with him because the area is under Taliban control. “Whenever you are thinking of calling me, please let me know in advance so that I can try to somehow answer your call,” he asked. His response stems from troubling stories of Hazara being stopped and searched for evidence of being Christians on their phones.
Mikael Tunér, who grew up in Afghanistan, is a producer with SAT-7 Partner ministry Media Mission the Messengers. He shared what he is hearing from contacts on the ground in areas under Taliban control. “We are seeing the same things as before in the areas that the Taliban now control. Girls are not allowed to go to school. Women are not allowed to leave their homes without a male companion,” he said.
Many have come to Christ from all ethnicities across Afghanistan. Please pray over the coming weeks that Jesus, Prince of Peace, will rule in many hearts.” – Mikael Tunér
With the Taliban’s advancement, people have begun censoring themselves in fear to avoid retribution. Many local media stations have replaced female presenters with male counterparts, and regular talk shows with hard-line religious programming. Watching SAT-7 will become even more difficult for local believers living in a place that is crying out to hear and share God’s love.
In the first six months of 2021, SAT-7 PARS witnessed an increase in audience engagement from viewers in Afghanistan, especially on Facebook. SAT-7 PARS currently broadcasts two Dari programs specifically for Afghan viewers: Window of Light and Secret of Life.
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 against the oppression of Afghanistan’s women, children, and men.
- Pray against violence. Pray for Christians and ethnic minorities who fear being singled out and targeted.
- Pray for hope, mercy, justice, and healing in Afghanistan.
*Name changed for security purposes