Egypt (MNN/SAT-7) — Anticipation of the 5th anniversary of the Arab Spring has triggered raids and searches from the Egyptian security officials and police.
In January, The Guardian reported 5,000 homes were searched to prevent any possible protests. Information on those searched during the campaign was gathered over months, according to the Associated Press.
Among those raided was SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa. The Egyptian government cracked down on the SAT-7 Cairo studio on October 10, 2015, confiscating valuable equipment and footage. Without their equipment, SAT-7 has been restricted to airing previously-recorded television broadcasts.
“We’ve had to shut down our live programming,” SAT-7 USA president Dr. Rex Rogers said in February. “We had $100,000 worth of equipment that was not central to it [live programming], and I might add, along with the equipment, on…one of those drives were unedited programs that had been filmed but were not backed up because they were still in the editing phase.”
Live program feeds of Why Is That? were at a stand-still for six months. Staff members were worried about their future and their audience’s future.
But, despite the set back from the raid, viewers stayed strong. They sent in words of encouragement, letting the Cairo studio know they had an audience full of support and love, and that reruns weren’t deterring people from watching.
Although the future of the studio was unknown, the team had faith that God would see His work through to completion. They continued to meet together, praying and planning for the next season.
Producer and Presenter Essam says, “We were sure that God [would] make a way, and we are witnessing so right now.”
In February, the equipment was returned and hope to continue the programs slowly came back.
A mother from Egypt recently wrote to the Why Is That? Presenter:
“Mr. Know has finally returned again…Welcome back… [my son] Vladimir will be so happy. By the way, four months ago, God has given him a sister named Verena. Pray for them, that they will grow up in the fear of the Lord.”
On April 1, the live premiere episode of Why Is That? was shown to coincide with Orphans Day in Egypt. The key Bible verse was Isaiah 64:8, “But now, O Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.”
Children learned that God is our Father and Maker. Throughout April, they will learn about the power of prayer.
Big plans will allow the show to minister to children in remote villages by traveling outside Cairo, and even outside Egypt, to film new episodes. Essam says, “Please unite with us in prayer so God would provide us with necessary resources for new ideas to be produced.”