SAT-7 Launches '2006 Year of the Family' Campaign

An indigenous satellite television service created by and for Middle Eastern and North African Christians has new plans to strengthen families in the Arab world where the family is being challenged.

"Family determines the future," says Debbie Brink, executive director of USA of SAT-7. "It's either going to stay strong and the future will stay strong or it's going to break down."

Serving as the premier Arabic Christian satellite TV channel for millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa, SAT-7 announced today the launch of a new family initiative called the 2006 Year of the Family campaign to the Christian message through the basic block of a family unit.

"Globally, the family is the basic building block of our society," said SAT-7 CEO Terry Ascott in a statement released by the ministry. "Yet, it seems today that the very institution of the family is being challenged, even in the extremely family-oriented Middle East and North Africa.

Beginning next year, SAT-7 will be airing special television programs with the theme "Together we can shape the future!" New programming will teach people how to raise children, how to communicate in marriage, and to hold off on getting married until after the couple is financially stable.

"Families in this region especially face problems live poverty, illiteracy, migration, negative media influences, divorce, spousal abuse, etc.,” Ascott noted. “Therefore, SAT-7 invites all churches, Christian agencies, and media in the Arab world to join the campaign by dedicating the year 2006 to be the Year of the Family!"

According to the ministry, the new campaign will reveal that families are important, and every member of the family is valuable, emphasizing the role of women and children. The initiative will root out the causes of the challenges facing Arab families today and teach churches to instill Christian values in the home.

"The family is the place where Christian values of love, respect, and freedom can best be taught, modeled and learned," said Brink, according to a released statement. "In the Arab world, watching satellite TV is often a family experience, so this is a very appropriate medium for such a campaign."

Launched in 1996, SAT-7 developed uncensored satellite broadcasts for Christians of the Middle East and North Africa. Though it aired only two hours of Arabic Christian TV per week, today the channel broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, bringing the message of Christ into millions of homes and promoting unity, tolerance, and understanding between the diverse religious and ethnic communities of the region.

"In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa Christians face various difficulties because of their beliefs,” according to ministry. “SAT-7 is strategically positioned to encourage these and all Christians who live in the region, by showing them that they are part of Jesus’ worldwide family and that when any believer suffers, for whatever reason, this family will be there to aid, support and pray for them.”

Currently, the ministry has studios in Egypt and Lebanon, an administrative office and broadcast center in Cyprus, and a U.S. office in Easton, Md.

"SAT-7 has always been committed to a holistic presentation of the Christian message,” said Brink.

It is also “an ideal vehicle to ensure important things that the church has to say about families are really heard by all elements in society," she added.