Giving the Church a Voice During a Time of Turmoil
SAT-7 live programs give Egyptian Church leaders a chance to speak out.
Cyprus - SAT-7 continues to broadcast calls for prayer for the situation in Egypt. The Arab Christian satellite broadcaster has also been airing numerous interviews with Egyptian church leaders during its live TV broadcasts which originate from the ministry’s TV studio in Lebanon. In recent days these programs have included:
Dr. Andrea stressed that the church is calling for change and increased social and political freedom within Egypt but, at the same time, he stated the church’s position of condemning and avoiding violence. Dr. Andrea said that he values the efforts of young people to bring change to Egypt and he prays for a better future, where all Egyptians can enjoy greater freedom and justice.
Rev. Dr. Sameh Maurice, Senior Pastor of Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo
Dr. Sameh talked about the impact of the demonstrations on the church building, which is located right next to Tahrir Square. Dr. Sameh assured viewers that the church is safe, although it is closed because of the events. He stated on SAT-7, “I value the spirit that is uniting Egyptians at this time. We are seeing a change…the spirit of doubt and hatred that has existed between Muslims and Christians is lessening.” Rev. Maurice prayed that God would save Egypt during this difficult time and that His people would be able to continue witnessing to Him during these challenging days. On Sunday 6th February, a group of Copts, which included members of Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church, held worship service at Tahrir Square, protected by clerics from Al-Azhar, Egypt's leading Islamic academy. Muslims and Christians joined voices in chanting the Lord's Prayer.
Dr. Bishop Yohanna Kolta, of the Coptic Catholic Church
Dr. Bishop Yohanna acknowledged Christian fears about the role Muslim groups might play in the coming days. He stated he was pleased that young people are trying to make Egypt a better place but added his concern that some political groups, and certain countries, might try to hijack these efforts for their own agendas. He voiced his belief that Egypt will continue to be an open loving country, and will never become another Iran or one of the Gulf states.
Farid S., SAT-7 Egypt Executive Director
Farid, who for the safety of his 65 employees had closed the SAT-7 TV studio in Egypt since Friday, January 28th, thanked the SAT-7 team in Lebanon for their efforts to fill the gap while the Egypt team was unable to produce TV programs. He also explained to viewers, during a live show from Beirut, SAT-7’s goal of being a voice for Christians in the Middle East. Farid shared with the viewers that SAT-7 does not endorse any political agenda, but simply tries to be a voice for God’s people in the Middle East and North Africa. He also talked about the channel’s goal of showing hope and spreading love through every program it airs. He talked in-depth about how SAT-7 had responded to the recent tragic bombing of a Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria, Egypt, adding “We proclaim good news, and when there is no good news to share, we call the church to be on its knees, praying for the situation, so God can show Himself even more in the midst of difficulties.”
In addition to these guests, the recent live shows took calls from viewers who expressed their sympathies, concerns, hopes and prayers. And several Lebanese guests reminded viewers that the Church is in God’s hands and Christians need to trust in God, who can preserve His work under any circumstances. A priest, Father Rwees, emphasized that Christian love should stop us from showing disrespect to anyone. A sociologist, Dr. Abdo Kaaie, stressed the need for Arab societies to become more democratic and to be governed by laws instead of traditions that usually neglect the religious and ethnic minorities. And a Lebanese pastor and guest host, Rev. Charbel Malik, talked about the world’s need to be reconciled to God through the work of Christ; and that being saved from sin is the way to find true freedom. He also highlighted the church’s prophetic role in confronting injustice and corruption, not just among political leaders, but also by pointing out the supposedly “minor” transgressions of regular members of the society that hurt everyone.
SAT-7 is thankful that during such an unpredictable time of turmoil and change in Egypt’s recent history, Christian leaders can come together on SAT-7 to help foster a spirit of unity, to speak words of support and hope on behalf of the Christian community for the nation, and to remind everyone of God’s sovereignty in all things.
Prayer and Praise:
- Continue to pray for renewed faith and positive changes leading to a better future for all the people of Egypt.
- Praise God that the Egypt office’s staff were unharmed and that the office can open again to continue broadcasting a message of hope during this time of uncertainty as well as guidance for all the churches of Egypt.