Middle East struggles to produce lasting peace; ministry responds

By August 4, 2008

Middle East (MNN/SAT-7) — Across
the Middle East and North Africa, war, terrorism and crime bring destruction daily. When peace suddenly broke out in Lebanon, it reminded many people
that peace is a choice.

SAT-7's David Harder says their
team is in the business of helping viewers "take heart." "We have a special campaign that we just
launched. It's called the 'Peace Against
Violence' Campaign. We're airing spots
on the air right now encouraging people to find peace through Jesus Christ, and
also challenging them to take steps to promote peace in their

SAT-7 has produced and is broadcasting several TV spots as part of the
campaign. In one, an infant plays in a crib while the camera slowly zooms
out to reveal the crib is located in the ruins of a war zone. Then the
scene fades ,and the words of John16:33 appear on screen.

In another
spot, children fly kites and play in a field while in the forest nearby a
militant with a machine gun decides to bury his weapon. The former
militant eventually walks away with his family while the viewers hear the words
to an Arabic song, "So plant the seed of peace, water it, and spread it. It's all from the Lord of Peace."

The campaign
is a joint effort between SAT-7 and a number of local media ministries and
Bible Societies. "It's about promoting the idea that if we have Jesus in
our lives, we can have peace, no matter what situations we may face," says Rita
El Mounayer, the Programming Director for SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS. The
partner groups are creating their own elements for the campaign while SAT-7 is
working on the television aspects.

Harder says
many are seeking answers as the instability looms–answers that can be found in
the Gospel. "Jesus said, 'In the world you will have trouble, but take
heart, I have overcome the world.' That's one of the Scriptures that we're presenting through this 'Peace
Amidst Violence' campaign. We're hoping
it will challenge people's thinking–that they'll think about Jesus, about
seeking him, about having him in their lives, about what they can do to build
peace in their own communities."

the rest of 2008, SAT-7 will be broadcasting a number of promotional spots and
special programs that will help viewers consider how they can build communities
of peace.   

The team hopes this will empower
families to establish loving relationships, affirm the role of young people to
spread peace in a violent world, advocate justice for the underprivileged, encourage
the persecuted and helping them persevere through the peace of Christ, and
mobilize the Church to reach out to victims of violence.

Pray that
God will use it to help break the cycles of revenge and violence, for the sake
of Christian brothers and sisters, and for all who live in the Middle East.


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