Church Mission Society, the UK-based mission agency is well-known for its focus on the unreached countries in Africa and the Middle East. CMS has now reported that its partner SAT-7 will air the first Christian satellite-TV show made by Iraqis in February.
The SAT-7 network is an Arabic television service for Christians across the Middle East and North Africa. All programmes are made in various languages, including English and Arabic, which are widely used in these countries.
According to the CMS, the production of the upcoming TV programmes involves Iraqi Christians. In the wake of the continued coordinated attacks on Christians, many have fled to neighbouring countries. Christians only make up about three percent of the total population and often are being marginalised. In the recent Iraq National Election, many Christians were reported as being deprived of voting.
The fact that the remaining minority of Christians are still trying their best to reach out to and have an impact on their communities is very encouraging.
CMS reports that in spite of threats and bombings, new churches have started, Christian bookstores have opened, and an Iraqi pastor has created a Christian TV show for fellow Iraqis.
Pastor Haitham Akaram, the writer and host of the programme named Help from the Highest, "I want to encourage my community, my people in Iraq."
The programme includes interviews with people on the streets of Baghdad, asking their opinions on topics ranging from "anger and revenge" to "dealing with traumatised children" and "hope for the future".
"I believe Iraqis will be blessed when they hear an Iraqi talking about the issues they are all facing. I trust it will bring them hope," says the shows Jordanian producer.
Pastor Haitham explained the importance of making good use of satellite TV for evangelism, "You see, during Saddams time, no one had satellite TV. Now, because of the lack of security, nearly all families stay home at night and watch satellite television. Most of the families in my church are watching Christian stations. Therefore, to make good contact with people, we must be on satellite TV."
One episode of Help from the Highest focuses on forgiveness. Pastor Haitham aims to show how the Bible teaches about forgiveness in a similiar situation that the Iraqi audience faces.