Television addresses Iraq and Gaza

By July 31, 2014

Middle East (SAT-7/MNN) — Bridges is a current affairs program produced by SAT-7 Egypt, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa. It has been at the heart of helping viewers to understand complex situations in the Middle East and North Africa region and how they might be tackled. Earlier this year, Syria was a main focus, producing children’s shows which featured refugees from the conflict. Program Manager George Makeen explains that two episodes, aired earlier this month, examined some underlying tensions in Iraq and the expansion of ISIS with guest Iraqi politicians and public figures.

Recently, the program’s main focus switched to the Hamas-Israel conflict. Saturday, July 26thBridges considered the implications of the expulsion of Christians under threat of death from Mosul. Makeen describes it as “a very dangerous development for the region”.

SAT-7 is watched not only by Christians, but also by others. The channel gives the Middle Eastern and North African Church a platform to speak to other communities.

“We are urging moderate Muslims–the majority in the Arab world–to see that when you let extremists eliminate one group in society, the circle does not stop there,” Makeen says. “Eventually, they will turn on other Muslims to persecute those who are different.”

Photo Courtesy of SAT-7

(Photo Courtesy of SAT-7)

Makeen stresses, “We are not only opposing persecution of Christians. Christian ethics make it a must for us to speak about injustice regardless of who the victim is.”

“Defending Christians also is critical for the future of the region as a whole,” he says. “The Middle East cannot prosper and be free without allowing diversity.”

As far as Gaza is concerned, Bridges looked first at explaining diplomatic efforts to bring about a ceasefire. Then it took on the task of confronting the dominant position in Egyptian media, this opinion being to convince citizens that Gaza is not worth worrying about because “Hamas is the one killing our army officers.” Instead, Bridges drew a line between Gaza’s political leadership and its “many innocents” who deserve justice and protection. SAT-7 CEO Dr. Ascott recently commented on the role of thousands of Christians living in Gaza. Click here to see his statement.

“The overall impact of such sad news from Gaza, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and, of course, Syria is that viewers lose hope and need a voice to reflect their confusion,” Makeen says.

“SAT-7 seeks to point our audience to God, who is all-powerful, who feels their pain, and who is working to bring about His Kingdom even when this seems hidden from us.”

Bridges Prayer, as aired on SAT-7:

To you, O God, we pray
To you we acknowledge our vulnerability, despair and confusion.
O Lord, we are tired of the injustice and blood,
Of the rape of the weak and the poor and the daily killing of innocents.
We see our weakness as we witness evil control new land daily, and we have nothing to stop it.
We are confused when we cry out in prayer for one country, then find more victims falling in another one.
We are tired of repeating the words of despair,
Of screaming and no-one answers,
Tired of cruelty that grows uglier every day,
Of seeing the oppressed crushed.
Tired of the cry of despairing mothers embracing their children for the last time,
Tired from the dread of young children who find no refuge from fear,
The young despair of today and tomorrow, and some of even of Your mercy.
Men are confused and powerless against injustice.

How long, O Lord?
How long, O Lord, shall we call upon You when You do not hear? How long shall we cry at injustice and You do not banish it?
Show us Your mercy and Your power, and do not leave us in despair
Do not let the voice of truth and justice in us become mute in the face of injustice.
Make us witnesses of Your righteousness and mercy, and light in the face of darkness
Hear us that we may see the light of Your wisdom
Restore our faith and hope, and make us witnesses to the people,
O Lord.

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