Turkey (MNN) — Turkey is the only Muslim country in the world with no state religion. Although it is officially a secular nation, Turkey is 99.8 percent Muslim. Christians make up less than 0.2 percent of the population. So it’s a big deal that SAT-7 TÜRK, a Christian satellite TV channel, is celebrating its 5th anniversary in Turkey.
SAT-7, a satellite TV ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, started SAT-7 TÜRK five years ago to reach Turkish speakers with the Gospel. SAT-7 TÜRK made history as the first Christian satellite channel on the government-regulated Türksat 4A satellite.
David Middleton with SAT-7 says, “To be actually accepted by the government and given a license and given the opportunity to actually broadcast our programming, in a sense, I think that that trust speaks partly to the reputation we have as a ministry.”
“The team [members] still turn the television on and pinch themselves when they see the channel broadcasting on the air live. It’s still a sense of thanks and gratitude that we have this opportunity.”
The SAT-7 TÜRK team is relatively small as far as media is concerned. Forty team members work full-time on the 24-7 broadcast.
In the next couple of years, SAT-7 TÜRK wants to grow the interactive aspects of their live programming, specifically on social media. The channel also wants to feature more dramas and high-quality programming that uses television to its full potential.
“Some programming tends to be low in its reliance on video so that, for instance, a speaker or a talk could equally be covered on radio. It’s not really using television to its full advantage,” Middleton says. “But programming like drama, you’re getting writers and people who have a real knowledge of the culture to express themselves…through the visual medium.”
With so few believers in Turkey, there is generally a lack of awareness about Christianity and even misconceptions about the faith.
“When we say that, for instance, Christians believe in the Trinity, that’s often misunderstood to mean that we believe in three gods. Or how our Scriptures have come to us and what we believe about them — that’s another area of misunderstanding.”
Middleton says that’s where SAT-7 TÜRK comes in. “We can offer a clear explanation of what we believe and offer perspective from our faith on different challenges and different cultural issues.”
SAT-7 is a partnership ministry working with different churches and ministries both in Turkey and internationally. They also represent many Christian denominations within the Church and are always looking for new connections.
If you would like to partner with SAT-7 TÜRK, click here!
To support SAT-7 TÜRK financially and advance the Gospel in Turkey, click here!
Finally, please pray for the Turkish people to know the love of Jesus. Pray for a spiritual revival and that God would use SAT-7 TÜRK for His glory in Turkey.
Middleton adds, “I would like to thank all of the people in the US who have supported what we’ve done over the years…. We’re grateful and thankful and realize that the work we do and the programs we’re able to produce and put on-air are very much a collaborative effort between many, many different people.”
Header photo courtesy of SAT-7.