COVID-19 May generate fear, but the end result is Potential Converts to Christianity
Despite strict lockdowns in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people across the Middle East and North Africa are searching for a spiritual lifeline. Fortunately, they are discovering help directly in their own homes through “living television”.
Many of these regions were the birthplaces for Christianity. Now, it’s only a minority faith. This is where Christian satellite television broadcaster, SAT-7 comes in. They have seen viewer numbers surging and social media interest increasing since the COVID-19 quarantine.
“There’s an explosion of spiritual hunger across the Middle East and North Africa right now as people stuck at home seek real hope and real answers,” Dr. Rex Rogers , president of SAT-7 USA. SAT-7 said to InChrist Communications. SAT-7 continues to broadcast shows 24/7 that present Christians as ‘living epistles’ who speak to people where they are in life.
“Millions of people in countries like Iran, Iraq, and Turkey are clamoring to see and hear in their own language what it’s like to be a follower of Jesus in a time of crisis,” Rogers said.
Coronavirus hotspot, Turkey, where almost 100% of the population is not Christian, has not shown more viewers contacting SAT-7 TURK daily during the previous few weeks than in the past five years.
In Iran, viewers call and message the live Farsi language Signal show. This show is broadcast into millions of homes nationally. It jumped to seven times its usual number last months as Iranians turned to the show for hope.
One viewer even testified as to how God was providing for her family. She told the viewers that they are living in faith, and praying for everyone.
Adults haven’t been the only ones affected by SAT-7. Across the Middle East and North Africa, SAT-7 KIDS Facebook audience has grown by 500% as children share videos offering support and encouragement based on scripture.
Closed Doors, yet Opened hearts and Minds
“Coronavirus has locked people inside their homes, but it’s opening hearts to God,” said Rogers. “Lockdown and social isolation do not stop our unique satellite and online Christian programs from reaching millions of adults and children where they live.”
Thirty million viewers tune in regularly to SAT-7’s Christian live shows and recorded broadcasts. These shows address life on a spiritual, emotional, physical, and social level. All shows are hosted by Christian presenters, and discuss topics that affect everyday life in a volatile region. It also invites viewers to participate in the discussion.
“When people have hope, they find the strength to carry on,” said Lebanon-born SAT-7 CEO Rita El-Mounayer, based at the ministry headquarters in Cyprus. “Our broadcasts and social media channels are needed more now than ever.”
Interestingly, an online video featuring the presenter of the ministry’s “Family of Jesus” children’s show, reached over 425,000 people and was shared 2,700 times. SAT-7 Academy, which is a social development and educational channel, doubled its audience over social media.