Broadcaster’s unique local programming engages culture, makes ‘God’s love visible’
EASTON, Md., March 25, 2021 — SAT-7 — a one-of-a-kind Christian broadcaster that reaches 25 million people in the Middle East and North Africa — has won a major award from National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), the world’s largest association of Christian communicators.
SAT-7 (www.sat7usa.org) received the NRB’s International Media Award for 2021 — one of the coveted annual Media and Special Service Awards presented to Christian organizations that excel in their field and spread the gospel with the greatest effect.
“This is God’s season for the Middle East and North Africa,” said SAT-7 CEO Rita El-Mounayer, a native of Lebanon, who heads the network’s unique programming, with up to 80% produced in the Middle East, and using local presenters speaking Arabic, Turkish and Farsi, the region’s three main languages.
“People across the region are intrigued to see that God really does care about them,” said El-Mounayer. “They’re asking: ‘Who is this Jesus?’ and our local Christian presenters and their guests make God’s love visible to them in ways they respond to.”
Encouraging Those in ‘Believers’ Vacuum’
A hallmark of the network — marking its 25th year broadcasting from its studios in the Middle East — is to encourage isolated Christians in places like Iran and Algeria, where believers are not allowed to attend church, many don’t have a Bible, and some have never met another Christian in person.
“SAT-7 is the church for the thousands of isolated believers across the Middle East and North Africa who have to worship alone in secret in their homes,” El-Mounayer said.
“One viewer in Iran told us, ‘when you pray on the screen, I pray with you; when you worship on the screen, I worship with you. One day I will pray and worship with you in person. And not just that — when I see you, I will kneel down and wash your feet and say thank you for what you did for the church in Iran.'”
Viewers Eager to Experience Jesus
During the pandemic, the network — which anyone can watch free-of-charge — has seen a surge in responses from viewers in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia and other nations in the volatile region.
Its live programs — often focusing on social issues, family life and health — and its social media channels attract viewers from different religious and cultural backgrounds. Viewers can ask the SAT-7 team questions on the phone or through online chat.
“When they see and hear local Christians in their own language describe how Jesus has given them peace, hope and love for others, many viewers are calling us and chatting with our team on social media, saying: ‘I want to experience that, too,'” said El-Mounayer, who began her career as a SAT-7 children’s presenter in the 1990s.
SAT-7 will be presented with the NRB’s International Media Award at the NRB convention in Grapevine, Texas, in June.
Launched in 1996, SAT-7 (www.sat7usa.org) – with its international headquarters in Cyprus – broadcasts Christian and educational satellite television services to more than 25 million people in the Middle East and North Africa. Its mission is to make the Gospel available to all, and to support the Church in its life, work and witness for Christ. SAT-7 broadcasts 24/7 in Arabic, Farsi (Persian), and Turkish, using multiple satellite channels and on-line services.