Iran (MNN) – From January 2 to January 13, the Iranian government blocked the use of the Telegram app in the country. The block came as an effort to contain widespread protests which broke out December 28 and didn’t calm until mid-January.
Telegram Block Ends
However, that block impacted listeners of SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa. The Telegram app is one of the main ways that SAT-7’s team from their SAT-7 PARS channel communicates with its viewers in Iran.
“Like any app on social media, it’s more social, it’s individual. So, we have people who, of course, speak Farsi and can interact with them and write back to them and they have a connection,” SAT-7’s Rex Rogers shares.
“And so that helps them in a very direct sense whereas, of course, on television media, you’re broadcasting to thousands or hundreds of thousands or more and so that helps. Another part of it is, of course, they can get specific questions answered at times or they can ask for certain prayer requests.”
The Telegram app is a useful tool because of its encryption capability, meaning individuals can communicate using a secure line. Churches are underground in Iran. During the unrest, believers who aren’t connected to a church couldn’t even communicate with SAT-7. Plus, the app is many Iranians’ connection with the outside world.
“If you’re in a country that’s constrained in terms of its information, as a human being you’re hungry for information,” Rogers says. “So, we’re grateful for the ability to interact at all.”
Iranian Church Ablaze
The Body of Christ in Iran is one of the fastest growing churches in the world. SAT-7 has the privilege to be a tool for this growth.
“There’s more openness to Christ and Christianity and the Gospel right now, in the Middle East and North Africa, unlike any time since World War II. It’s unprecedented,” Rogers explains. “And so we don’t hear that talked about on the big cable news TV networks, God is working.”
Want to help Iranian Christians and unbelievers be discipled and learn more about Jesus Christ?
You can help by praying for SAT-7’s ministry, the people it serves, Iranian believers’ encouragement and strength, and God’s work in the country. Pray for peace and for the continued work of the Gospel there.
Other ways to help include being informed. Find out what’s happing in Iran, and the rest of the Middle East, from multiple sources with different viewpoints. Take time to learn more about Iran, its culture, and its history, too.
“There’s a lot going on and….Iranians as a group, they don’t hate Americans…. They want what we have,” Rogers explains. “They just want a normal life and liberties that go with that. They admire America and all you can learn about them is something that’s very important.”
Will you also consider giving? All it takes is $1 to provide satellite TV to a single person in the Middle East and North African region.
To give to SAT-7’s ministry, click here!
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we share more about how the Iranian Church is growing.