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Persian Programs Harness the Power of Storytelling

10th February 2024

Powerful stories and real-life testimonies of Persian believers will be featured in SAT-7 PARS’ varied schedule of brand-new programs and much-loved returning live programs in 2024, broadcasting God’s hope to viewers in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. 

“I recently started watching your programs, and I thank God that through you, dear friends, we can hear God’s Word in our own homes,” says Armita,* a young woman in Iran, where even owning a Bible can lead to an arrest. Lacking Christian resources, fellowship, and mature leadership, Christians and new believers are finding hope in SAT-7 PARS’ diverse programming and are inspired by the testimonies shared on air.

SAT-7 PARS’ popular live program Signal, now in its sixth season, features testimonies of Iranian Christians from around the world who are actively serving the Church, and highlights the miracles God is accomplishing in their lives. “Testimony segments such as those included in our Signal program are key to helping isolated believers in the Persian-speaking world feel connected to the global Church,” explains Panayiotis Keenan, Executive Director of SAT-7 PARS. “By listening to how God can overcome challenges and obstacles, viewers are encouraged and built up in their faith.”

New programs planned for this year also seek to feature examples of Christ-like behavior. Chat and Drive, a casual talk show planned for this year, takes to heart the call to “practice what you preach,” providing a glimpse into the day-to-day lives and testimonies of pastors and preachers. In each episode, the presenter, Gilbert Hovsepian, picks up a well-known Iranian pastor in his car and takes him for a 20-minute drive. An honest conversation follows, delving into life’s deepest questions as well as covering light-hearted topics like hobbies, books, and films.

The end result for the viewer is a clearer understanding of what the lifestyle of a Jesus-follower looks like when that person is not on a platform. The hope is that viewers will benefit from the insights of these leaders, while being surprised by their authenticity and encouraged by their shared humanity. But the ultimate goal for Chat and Drive is to help viewers grow in their faith and understanding of the Bible… even if they take the scenic route to get there.

How To Live is similarly informal in its approach as a conversational show, with the addition of a praise and prayer segment. This new program seeks to encourage viewers, specifically women, in their walk with God. As the female presenter interviews a guest, they walk through outdoor settings like parks and streets, with the guests sharing their answers to some of life’s biggest questions. Each episode ends with the women joining musicians in worship and prayer. This uplifting show will uncover a wide range of beautiful testimonies, and the team hopes that in doing so, it will bless many viewers in the Persian-speaking world.

As some of SAT-7 PARS’s new programs continue to explore innovative ways of reaching its audience, some are returning to tried and tested methods. Parable and Metaphor is one such program, exploring the parables of Jesus, while using modern stories and illustrations to amplify the messages they contain.

Parables and short stories are an important part of Middle Eastern culture, so it is no surprise that around 60% of Jesus’ words come in the form of stories and parables. Through this classic teaching method, Parable and Metaphor seeks to provide viewers with Spirit-breathed advice that will carry them through the storms of life.

Storytelling for Children

SAT-7 PARS’ young viewers are also benefiting from Bible stories and storytelling. Golpand and Hashtag are two of SAT-7 PARS’ best-known programs, which use storytelling to bring God’s Word to life. Both programs teach children core biblical values through interactive games, educational segments, and theatrical plays, tailored according to the program’s audiences, with Golpand reaching children and Hashtag engaging teens.

Live programs for children and youth such as Golpand, Hashtag, and Church4Kids provide a safe and valuable platform through which viewers can connect, learn about the Bible, pray for one another, and share their own testimonies.

Deena, a young girl from Iran, has been hugely impacted by Golpand. “The program has had a big impact on my life and on the things I do. The stories we are told and the questions discussed add so much to our understanding, as do the Bible verses that are shared at the end of the programs. The program is excellent, and it helps us to be better connected with the world around us.”

Please pray for all those who will watch SAT-7 PARS programs this year, that they will be captivated and encouraged by the stories they hear, and that they will find meaning in the ultimate story – “God … reconciling the world to Himself in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:19, NIV).

 

*Viewer names have been changed for security.

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