2012-07-10 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) A voice for Christians in the Middle East and a bridge to the majority Muslim world. Those are the two goals of a Christian television station, Sat 7 which has been broadcasting across the region for the past 15 years with educational, inspirational and above all entertaining programmes for young and old alike. Working ecumenically with all the Christian Churches in the region, Sat 7 has expanded significantly and has millions of Muslim viewers, as well as Muslim guests and hosts on most of its daily programming.
Despite the many challenges and difficulties facing Christian communities in the region, Sat 7 encourages people to stay and to engage across the political and religious divides, fostering bridges of understanding and cooperation through the daily dialogue of life.
Kurt Johansen from Denmark heads Sat 7’s European fundraising office. He told Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen more about the origins and the goals of this pioneering organisation….
“Sat 7 came out of the awareness that in the Middle East 70% of the population have a satellite dish now ….and people in the Middle East watch more TV than anywhere else in the world…
We started 15 years ago with a small studio in Lebanon, then later we expanded into Egypt…..now we have 5 channels, 24 hours a day, in the three major languages of the Middle East, Arabic, Pharsi and Turkish….
We have a dedicated 24 hour kid’s channel which has about nine million daily viewers, mostly in Iraq and Saudi Arabia…
There’s a lot of misconceptions about the Christian faith – like we are cannibals because we have the Holy Communion, that we are immoral because men and women sit together, unlike in mosques, that we believe in three Gods, not one God – and all these things we can talk about very openly on Sat 7 …..
We can build bridges, eliminate misunderstandings and give the church a kind of identity and legitimacy within society…..”