Frequently Asked Questions

SAT-7 is a Christian satellite television station run by and for the people of the Middle East and North Africa. The ministry has five different channels: SAT-7 ARABIC, SAT-7 KIDS, SAT-7 PLUS, SAT-7 PARS and SAT-7 TÜRK (Farsi/Turkish programming). Each shares a common vision and mission:

The Vision: To see a growing Church in the Middle East and North Africa, confident in Christian faith and witness, serving the community and contributing to the good of society and culture.

The Mission: To provide the churches and Christians of the Middle East and North Africa an opportunity to witness to Jesus Christ through inspirational, informative, and educational television services.

SAT-7 has a unique ethos that guides ministry decisions. This ethos includes seven core principles and descriptors:

SAT-7 is:

  1. Local SAT-7 was created by Middle Eastern Christians themselves in partnership with Christians from around the world. More than 100 Middle Eastern Christians serve the ministry, from the board of directors to those who create its programs and manage its operations in Egypt and Lebanon. Additionally, around 80 percent of the programs airing on SAT-7’s channels are made in the Middle East and SAT-7’s broadcasts reach every country in the region.
  2. Christ Centered SAT-7’s programs seek to help viewers better understand the teachings of Christ and how to apply them in daily life. These programs allow Middle Eastern Christians to have a voice in society, to build their churches and be living witnesses to Christ for viewers who have no church to attend.
  3. Sensitive SAT-7 works within the region and its locally-based producers know what kinds of programs are culturally and politically acceptable. The ministry airs programming which seeks to build bridges of understanding between Christian denominations, and between Christians and members of other religions.
  4. Inclusive SAT-7 works with the major Christian denominations in the region. Such an approach helps build unity through diversity (John 17:21). Churches that work with SAT-7 accept the Nicene Creed and the Lausanne Covenant as a unifying statement of faith.
  5. Quality Programming SAT-7 seeks to make the highest quality programming. The ministry makes significant investments in equipment, talent, training, purchasing and approving programming, which enables the network to create and broadcast programs which attract a wide audience  programs that have compelling content and visuals. 
  6. Diverse in Programming SAT-7 seeks to minister to the needs of all of its viewers, from children, to youth, to adults. SAT-7 also creates programs for viewers who are seeking basic knowledge about Christianity as well as those who want advanced theological training. The ministry also airs programs designed to reshape the attitudes and options of all Middle Eastern viewers (Christian and non-Christian). These programs seek to improve treatment of marginalized groups such as women, the illiterate, the poor and the disabled. These programs also address vocational needs, health and safety issues and more topics that are beneficial to all.
  7. Effective SAT-7’s core values enable its programs to bring change in the lives of millions of viewers. SAT-7’s producers work hard to create effective programming, and thousands of monthly contacts from viewers demonstrate how God is using SAT-7 to strengthen the Church in the region and bring many people into a close relationship with the Lord.

 

In 1992, a group of ministries already working to support Christians in the region partnered together in a research study seeking to find the best way they could support the local Christian community and the cause of Christian witness in the region. At the time satellite TV was just becoming popular, sparked by the first Gulf War when local citizens wanted access to CNN’s uncensored coverage of the conflict. The research study concluded that satellite TV, despite its cost, was the most effective way to reach a large number of people in the region. The founders also included local Christian leaders who helped define the SAT-7 ethos. Seven of the core principles of that ethos are described above, and the founders were adamant that any satellite TV ministry they would be a part of would never attack those of another faith or denomination. Instead, the ministry would help build their communities in a way that was sensitive to the larger community and at the same time would help to build bridges of understanding between Christians and their neighbors. The ministry helps Arab, Iranian and Turkish Christians better understand their own faith and helps others by providing an accurate presentation of the Gospel delivered, “with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15). The ministry began broadcasting on May 31, 1996.
“SAT” is a shortened and common term for “satellite.” The number “7” was picked because it is a holy number in the Bible. It was also a number that was available because when SAT-7 began broadcasting in 1996, it was one of only a few channels broadcasting on the Eutelsat Hotbird satellite platform. Across the region it is common for channels in other languages to use English for their broadcast names. For example “LTV” is a popular Lebanese channel.
SAT-7 broadcasts a wide variety of styles of programming, ranging from cartoons to films, talk shows to documentaries. Around 80% of the programs are made in the region, in the languages of Arabic, Farsi or Turkish, and occasionally in other languages such as Dari. The programs offer a variety of content, all designed to help viewers either understand more about Christ, his teachings and the Bible, or to help them improve their lives. This includes some social development programming, such as programs that teach people how they can start a micro business, how to read, how to care for their children. SAT-7 also broadcasts everyday programs created by and for women, who are often marginalized in society, addressing topics of concern to them. These programs show the Christian community ministering to the physical needs of the audience, as well as to their spiritual needs.
SAT-7 broadcasts from the Eutlesat Hotbird satellite platform. Its three channels can be viewed across North Africa to the Red Sea and Gulf States, North covering all of Europe and Turkey, and East to Iran and Afghanistan. SAT-7’s three channels can also be viewed on the web through its Internet streaming services.

For hotbird footprint Click here
No. Like most Middle Eastern channels (around 300), SAT-7 is free-to-air (FTA). Satellite television is extremely popular in the Middle East and North Africa, and viewers can easily purchase the equipment they need to watch it. Ninety-five percent of the people in the region already have a television, and the cost to buy a dish, the LNB (the device on the dish that receives the satellite signal) and a receiver can be as little as 100 USD.
Around 80% of SAT-7’s programs are made locally, by SAT-7 crews working in Egypt and Lebanon or by like-minded Christian production companies in the region. SAT-7 often enters into co-production arrangements with these production companies. A small amount of programming, especially films, documentaries and cartoons, is acquired (usually purchased, but sometimes donated) from Christian production companies from across the world. SAT-7 then takes these programs and dubs (and occasionally subtitles) them into Arabic or Farsi.
SAT-7 has two Arabic channels: SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS. Most of SAT-7’s Arabic programs are in either Lebanese or Egyptian colloquial Arabic (Egyptian colloquial is considered the mostly widely understood form of Arabic in the region because Egypt has long been the “Hollywood” of the region). SAT-7 also occasionally broadcasts programs in other dialects including Moroccan, Jordanian, Iraqi, Syrian and others being broadcast. SAT-7 also has a Farsi (Persian) language channel called SAT-7 PARS. Four hours of programming each day on the PARS frequency are donated to an outside Turkish ministry called TURK-7.
SAT-7 has developed blocks of programs designed to meet the needs of specific segments of its viewing audience. Currently the ministry has blocks of programming for women, youth and children, as well as a block of devotional programs (music, scripture reading, some teaching) each morning. SAT-7 also broadcasts blocks of teaching programs, some of which are designed for people who are young in the faith and need discipling, and others for more advanced students seeking tools they need to lead churches. SAT-7 regularly meets with leaders of Middle Eastern seminaries to prepare the curricula for these teaching programs. The ministry airs some “prime time” blocks that are designed to reach the widest audience. The genres of programs range from music programs, Middle Eastern style drama, dubbed films, cartoons and documentaries, to game shows and many other types of programming. Program ideas are generated by producers who are in regular contact with the ministry’s Audience Relations department to learn what kind of programs viewers appreciate or would like to see on the air.
Scientific research conducted by an independent audience research firm in 2007 has determined that SAT-7 ARABIC has a total audience of 8.5 million viewers. Research for the SAT-7 KIDS and SAT-7 PARS channels has yet to be conducted, but based on the audience size for SAT-7’s ARABIC channel when it launched, ministry leaders believe that, at a very conservative estimate, they have a minimum audience of one million viewers each..
SAT-7’s statements of faith are the Nicene Creed (below) and the Lausanne Covenant

THE NICENE-CONSTANTINOPOLITAN CREED (325 AD)

We Believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten from His Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate.

He suffered and was buried, and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father. And He shall come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead; and His kingdom shall have no end.

We Believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets.

We Believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

Amen
Churches have existed in the Middle East for centuries, but their numbers are shrinking in many areas. These include the traditional Christian communities of the region, which trace their origin back to the first Apostles. It also includes Protestant denominations of many types. God has given the Christian community a great deal of variety and history, and the unity on the foundational theological positions that remains between the churches, despite their diversity, can be a tremendous strength. SAT-7 works with churches that affirm foundational principles of the Christian faith as laid out in the Nicene Creed and the Lausanne Covenant. SAT-7 seeks to help build unity between the Christian denominations, helping viewers see the richness and strength of the universal Church in the Middle East.
SAT-7 is not owned by any one person, ministry or Church. Instead it is governed by an International Board of Directors. According to the ministry’s bylaws, the majority of voting members must always be Christians from the Middle East and North Africa. So, SAT-7 is effectively owned by the local Christian community. Current Board members include the leaders of the Evangelical Church of Lebanon and Egypt, two Coptic Orthodox Bishops, the Lutheran Bishop of the Holy Land, an Armenian Archbishop, a Senior Maronite Bishop and other local church leaders. One seat on the board is also given to an elected representative of SAT-7’s Partners. Click here to learn more about SAT-7's International Board.

SAT-7’s official Partners comprise a group of churches, organizations and individuals who agree with the mission, vision and principles of SAT-7. Each Partner organization/group/individual fills out an application affirming SAT-7’s statements of faith (Nicene Creed and Lausanne Covenant), their commitment to working inter-denominationally, and their desire to support and work in fellowship with SAT-7. Each Partner also agrees to give a minimum annual donation of 12,000 USD (going up to 15,000 USD by 2011). In addition, many Partners provide SAT-7 with expertise, prayer support, seconded staff, programs and other resources that help it in its mission to support the Church in the Middle East and North Africa. Most Partners also raise awareness about SAT-7 and the needs of the Church in the Middle East and North Africa. SAT-7 Internatioanl Associates also agree to support SAT-7's mission and vision, but at a smaller financial level. More about SAT-7 Associates and Partnership. You can also send an email to your local SAT-7 office to find out more about applying to become a SAT-7 Partner or Associate.

A partial list of current SAT-7 Partners includes:

Middle East and International
Kasr El Dubara Church (Cairo)
National Evangelical Church of Kuwait-English Language Congregation
World Vision International
Life Agape International
Paul Mission (Korea)
SAAWE (South Africa)

Europe:
Danish Bible Society, Denmark
Dansk Europamission
Det Norske Misjonsforbund
Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, (FELM)
Finnish Lutheran Mission, Finland
Hilfsaktion Märtyrerkirche e.V. (HMK)
Icelandic Lutheran Misison
InterAct, Sweden (Evangeliska Frikyrkan)
IRR - TV
Norea Radio (Norea Mediemisjon), Norway
Normisjon, Norway
Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS)
Norwegian Mission to the East, Norway
Radio Mission the Messengers, Finland
Saron Church, Sweden
Mission Africa, Denmark
Pentecostal Assembly Switzerland
TV-Inter Norway

North America
American Baptist Churches International Ministries, USA
Baptist General Conference, (BGC) USA
Crossings Community Church
Trail Christian Fellowship

UK
Baptist Mission Society (BMS), UK.
Church Mission Society UK & Australia (Anglican)

In the Middle East and North Africa, local churches are struggling to survive, and many Christians are emigrating to other parts of the world. Those that remain often lack economic and educational opportunities and have very limited access to Christian training material. In addition, without Christian satellite television, millions of people in the region would never have another opportunity to hear the Gospel of Christ. The Christian minority is also often widely misunderstood by the majority community, and needs tools such as television to help dispel negative stereotypes about them, which are based on false information. Many of the people in the Middle Eastern and North African Christian minority are crying out for help but receive very little from the outside world. Satellite television is one of the best, and often the only, means to bring basic information and advanced training material into even the most remote location. SAT-7 provides a broadcast platform from which local Christians can give a clear and effective presentation of their faith to their fellow countrymen and people of nearby countries. SAT-7 has a unique ethos that enables it to serve the local Christian community and also help others in the viewing area understand the Gospel and Christian teaching in a contextually appropriate manner. If you would like to help support SAT-7, please click here.
SAT-7 doesn’t have any one source of funding, and it does not ask for funding on air. The ministry also does not sell airtime to other Christian broadcasters. Instead, SAT-7 relies completely on the financial gifts from individuals, ministries, churches, and NGOs in the region and from around the world who believe in the importance of the ministry. The international development agencies of Norway and Sweden have given to some projects, such as programming to raise awareness about the needs of the disabled in the region. SAT-7 also receives funding directly from churches and viewers from the Middle East (including several thousand regular givers in Egypt), who send in unsolicited donations. SAT-7 also has fundraising offices in Europe, the UK, US and Canada. More awareness about SAT-7 is needed, so if you would like to help in any way, please click here to find out ways you can "take part" in this important ministry.
SAT-7 seeks to avoid political debate, and therefore does not broadcast programming of a political nature. Some programs do tackle societal issues that can be controversial and are often overlooked in the region such as: treatment of women, drug use, AIDS, female circumcision, principles of human rights and citizenship, etc. These topics are handled in a careful manner, examining them as social ills of which the local Christian community can raise awareness and make positive contributions for the benefit of everyone in society. SAT-7 is also expanding its current affairs programming and hopes to increasingly bring a Christian perspective to current news and events.
SAT-7 seeks to be a good member of the community, like the minority Christians who live in the Middle East and North Africa. By serving the local Christian community, by being a tool local churches can use, and by not broadcasting any programming that is political or that attacks any religion or denomination, SAT-7 has developed a good reputation within the region. The programs SAT-7 broadcasts help the majority community to understand the beliefs of Christians, dispelling misconceptions about the Christian faith that are common in the region. This sensitive and respectful approach helps the local Christian minority be recognized as a valuable segment of local society. It has also enabled the ministry to maintain registered offices in Egypt and Lebanon, and will hopefully enable SAT-7 to open additional offices in other countries in the region in the future.
The Nicene Creed and the Lausanne Covenant guide the theology of SAT-7. SAT-7 is inclusive of the major denominations of the region and regularly seeks their input. But on some topics, differences between major groups remain. SAT-7’s Board determines how to handle, or even whether or not to broadcast, such topics. For example, in some churches, there are “sacraments” (e.g. the Lord’s Supper) that can only be administered by ordained clergy, so such parts of a church service need to be treated with sensitivity But, SAT-7 can more easily broadcast other parts of a church service, in a way that reflects the rich diversity of approaches taken by different churches, and can also make programs in which the theological differences between churches are discussed, helping the different denominations better understand each other.
All of SAT-7’s staff working in SAT-7’s offices in Egypt and Lebanon (around 100 people) are local Christians. SAT-7 also has a team of about 40 people working in Cyprus (of 15 different nationalities) mostly Egyptian, Lebanese or Cypriot, but also including Syrian, Sudanese, and people from other nations. SAT-7 also has regional staff in Europe, the UK, the USA and Canada.
Click here to see how you can have a part to play in this exciting ministry. SAT-7 needs prayer and financial support, as well as additional staff and programs.

If you would like more detailed information about SAT-7, click here to reach your local SAT-7 office.