Christian TV brings certainty, to uncertain time in Iran

By September 13, 2006

Iran (MNN) — Nuclear ambitions and other international and domestic issues are causing a great deal of soul searching among the people of Iran. The issues are great, especially with the young people, which make up 70-percent of the country’s population. That soul searching is one reason why Iranian Christian Broadcasting (ICB) is looking to significantly increase its reach and impact.

ICB airs on SAT-7’s satellite channel two hours a day in Persian. SAT 7’s David Harder says the issues facing youth are incredible today. “Of the 70-percent of people who are under age 30, 27-percent of those people are unemployed. Then they look around and they realize what’s going on with the nuclear ambitions that the country has and they wonder if there’s going to be economic sanctions, if there’s going to be war. You add that to the lack of jobs, you have a whole lot of despondency.”

According to Harder, they hope to expand their programming to 24 hours a day. Iranian pastors are telling him this expansion is critical because Iran is at a crossroads. “There’s been a real hunger and thirst within Iran to learn more about the Lord because the pressures of life are so difficult. We know that God uses these negative things in our lives to draw us closer to Him.”

The expansion isn’t coming without a price, says Harder. “The price-tag is roughly $1-million for start up and to pay for time on satellite. It’s difficult for Farsi speakers to find their programs in the middle of Arabic programming, so they have to know exactly know when to tune it in, instead of being able to go right to the channel”

Harder believes satellite television may be the only way to take the Gospel into Iran on a large scale. “Barriers to the west are becoming more and more strong and less able for people from the outside to go in an do things. So, satellite TV is becoming the most effective way.”

The great thing is, programs are being produced by Iranians. “We are working with numerous churches on the ground. They make music videos. They’re working on other programs for youth, and they’ve done some dramas within Iran. So, we are partnering with people within Iran to make shows and also with expatriate Iranians who want to reach back to their community.”

If you’d like to help SAT-7 and ICB, click on the link listed here.

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