Afghanistan (SAT7/MNN) — Afghanistan is reeling from a spate of insurgent
attacks against Western targets.
Rebels entered the weekend with a series of deadly attacks against U.S.
troops and Afghan police. The terror inspired has given rise to a search for
escape, but more often, a search for truth.
Substance abuse now joins war and poverty as major stressors on
Afghans. Growing numbers are finding
hope and encouragement in the shows they are watching on SAT-7 PARS. It's the Farsi-speaking arm of SAT-7, a
Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa.
Every day, people in Afghanistan are watching SAT-7 and calling in with
questions and feedback. The Executive Director of SAT-7 PARS notes a
significant uptick in the amount of audience feedback. She writes, "I used
to be very happy if I heard of one call from Afghanistan, and I used to
celebrate the whole week. Amazingly, now…we get around 60 to 70 calls every
month from Afghanistan."
Two years ago, SAT-7 PARS launched a program called Raze Zendeghi (Secret
of Life) in Dari, an Afghan dialect. It is now broadcast four times a week
to meet a growing audience demand. With a literacy rate of only about 28%,
television may be the only way many people in Afghanistan can study Scripture
and learn about God. Roughly half speak Dari, but many are equally fluent in Farsi.
The programming of SAT-7PARS is meant to have a Gospel impact, which is
often revealed through building relationships with viewers. That comes through a program designed to lend
support to a growing church in the region: Seminary of the Air (SOTA). The hosts of the program lead believers to
higher levels of Biblical knowledge, spiritual maturity, and eventually church
Most importantly, it seems a virtual church is emerging. While Afghans can't
meet together in a church as freely as Christians elsewhere, they can help each
other through SAT-7 PARS and the Audience Relations team.
The Executive Director has high hopes for the future of the channel,
including reaching more people in Afghanistan and someday extending throughout
Tajikistan, providing programs in the local Tajik dialect.