• April 19, 2002
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    Bringing the Message of Hope to Middle East
Bringing the Message of Hope to Middle East NICOSIA, CYPRUS (ANS) -- SAT-7, an exceptional Christian broadcasting group that is a partnership of some 30 agencies, including the United Bible Societies, Campus Crusade for Christ and local churches in countries such as Egypt, Lebanon and Kuwait, is bringing the message of "The Prince of Peace" to a region that has been wracked with violence. They are delivering this unique message via television over two satellites, directly into viewer homes all over the Middle East and North Africa.

Terry Ascott, SAT-7's chief executive officer, said in a message to supporters of this unique ministry, "Christian greetings from a region in grief and shock, one which I am sure is shared by many around the world. Please remember in your prayers the people of the Middle East - especially the thousands of wounded or grieving on both sides of what some would now call 'a war.'"

Ascott continued, "Arab Christians across the region have been doing what they can to bring peace and reconciliation. SAT-7 has had a role in calling to prayer the Christians of the Middle East and North Africa. And, in Egypt, the Evangelical Church had a day of prayer and fasting for the situation last Sunday (April 7).

"While it is still early days to really see what has happened in our region since September 11 (especially because of the present violence, much of which is under the banner of 'fighting terrorism'), it would seem that there is an emerging divide. This is between those who feel acts of terrorism (as defined by the west) are justifiable within Islam and those who are questioning their religion because of such statements. The debate is unprecedented in its frank and public nature ? with extremes of view being aired by Arab satellite television channels.

"Whatever the situation, the quality (and quantity) of response coming from our audience is significantly up since September 11."

He then quoted from a letter from a man from Algeria, where SAT-7 has a large audience: "I was very disturbed after watching your programs, questioning what is truth. But, in answer to my prayers, Jesus appeared to me and I have a new peace and joy. Please send me a Bible."

Ascott also said that a woman from Algeria had phoned a SAT-7 counseling center and said, "From western movies, I always thought Christians (westerners) were heavy drinkers, cheats, adulterers and disrespectful of their families. Watching your programs has changed all this and I understand Christianity is about love, forgiveness, honesty, being faithful to God and so on..."

He also quoted from a letter from a man in Morocco that said, "I want you to know that your programs (and your viewer's magazine) are very important to us because they are the only source of Christian information to us in this country. Your programs are having a big impact on many attitudes and lives here, as people learn the truth about Christians."

Ascott asked Christians around the world to pray for the work of SAT-7 in the Middle East and North Africa.

Ascott concluded by saying, "Pray for our Board and Executive leadership. The work of SAT-7 faces many challenges, not least in the area of finance. Creative and important new developments are being put on hold at the very time when there is such an open door for Christians to contribute to positive change in the region.

For more information on SAT-7, you can log onto their website at www.sat7.org
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