Iranians Flocking to Christian Television

A Christian satellite TV network has reported "spectacular church growth" in Iran and noted the importance of media in strengthening the churches there as well as in reaching out to Muslims.

SAT-7 is "receiving a lot of reports on people watching this channel more than almost any other channel in Iran," Debbie Brink, the network's executive director, reported recently to Mission Network News (MNN).

She said SAT-7 had deliberately chosen not to tackle political issues and focuses instead on the message of hope and peace.

"I think we attract viewers in these times, because they're looking for an alternative message. They're tired of all the conflict and the war, and they do see opportunities for learning more about God's love, His forgiveness, reconciliation and peace," she stated.

In recent years, an increasing number of Muslims throughout the Middle East have converted to Christianity through watching Christian satellite television programming.

Satellite TV has emerged as an important and effective evangelism tool to share the Gospel with Muslims in closed Islamic states.

Muslims watching the shows have confessed that the message of hope and love is a stark contrast to the oppressive Islamic message conveyed by their government and on Islamic TV programs.

"The house church movement has seen spectacular growth," reported Stefan De Groot, Open Doors Middle East field worker, in a recent report on the growth of Christianity in Iran.

"This is not happening just because of dreams and miracles," he said, as is common among Muslims. "The majority of people now come to faith through the multimedia, and especially satellite-TV. Nobody can control which programs Iranians watch."

SAT-7 is the first Arabic language Christian satellite channel to broadcast successfully in the Middle East and claims a viewership of 8-10 million in the Middle East and North Africa.

It also broadcasts 24-hours-a-day in Farsi and Turkish through SAT-7 Pars, which takes its name from the Farsi word that embodies the Persian culture.

Christian Post reporter Michelle Vu contributed to this report.

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