Middle East (MNN) — Saber-rattling in the Middle East is making headlines again. Iran is threatening Israel, militants are bombing Lebanese Christians, and Israel declares Gaza an "enemy."
Specifically, over pressure on its nuclear program and threatened third round of sanctions, Iran's military said it is prepared to bomb Israel in the event that the Jewish state attacks the Islamic Republic. In Lebanon, at least two people were killed by a car bomb exploding in the Christian district of Sin el-Fil, in eastern Beirut. The bombing took place a few days before the crucial September 25th presidential elections. And Israel is planning to isolate Gaza after calling it an "enemy entity." The move comes in response to cross-border rocket fire by Palestinian militants in Gaza.
In spite of war and rumors of war, SAT-7's Debbie Brink says SAT-7 Pars marks five years of ministry this year. "Since that channel has launched, our audience has grown tremendously. We're hearing fantastic stories of people coming to Christ in those Farsi speaking countries."
SAT-7 Pars is a Christian satellite TV-channel broadcasting in Farsi and Turkish 24-hours-a-day. The channel takes its name, "Pars," from the Farsi word that embodies the Persian culture.
Brinks says SAT-7 Pars deliberately chooses not to tackle political issues. Instead, their programming focuses on hope and peace. "I think we attract viewers in these times, because they're looking for an alternative message. They're tired of all the conflict and the war, and they do see opportunities for learning more about God's love, His forgiveness, reconciliation and peace."
According to SAT-7, satellite television plays an important role in the life of the Iranian church. The church in Iran is currently experiencing spectacular growth. In a report which specifically mentions SAT-7, a representative of the organization emphasizes the role of satellite TV, Internet and other new media in strengthening the church.
The response from viewers to SAT-7 PARS confirms that the programs are watched, even in remote villages. Brink adds, "We're hearing a lot of reports on people watching this channel more than almost any other channel in Iran."
A 23-year-old woman from Tehran called the staff at SAT-7 to say how much she liked the program "One-man Show." She noted the way it deals with problems young people face, adding, "We as young people have to make many critical decisions. This program helps us to make the right ones. I am not a Christian, but I use the advice given in this program and apply it to my life, even if it comes from the Bible."