The following is from SAT-7 --note first photo on my blog!
97% of Iraqis have satellite TV and 18.8% of those watch SAT-7®!
Iraq is a country in transition. Its newly created government is experiencing growing pains. Its major people groups, the Kurds, Sunnis and Shia distrust each other. Christians are being targeted and many are worried that their rights to freely exist and worship may be lost. And yet, despite these hardships, many parts of the country are functioning, and some are thriving. While some churches are experiencing massive losses in membership as congregants move to other nations, others are flourishing as people in distress cry out to the Lord for help.
In this kind of environment, satellite television has become the most effective way to reach and encourage not only the Iraqi Christians but also the entire population of Iraq. Most Iraqi families spend many hours in the relative security of their homes watching satellite television. Many have turned to SAT-7 for hope and encouragement. We are excited to share a recent study about SAT-7's impact in Iraq.
Data just released from a nation-wide study in Iraq found that 97% of the population has access to satellite television and that 18.8%, or 5.3 million people in that country alone (out of an estimated 2008 population of 28 million), watch SAT-7. The study also found that 2.6 million are watching on a regular daily or weekly basis!
Intermedia, the independent audience research firm which conducted the study, also provides data on such channels as Al Jazeera and BBC Arabic. In fact, according to the study SAT-7 is only 1.7 percentage points behind BBC Arabic in the number of people aware of the channel!
SAT-7 CEO Terence Ascott says the figures show that SAT-7 is offering tremendous return on donations given to the ministry. "It's quite amazing when you consider that BBC ARABIC has an annual budget of 25 million British Pounds. A year ago when the BBC channel launched, that amount was worth about 50 million dollars. SAT-7's total budget, split among three channels in 2008, was only 13 million dollars. Talk about value for your money!"
In addition to reaching a high number of viewers for a low cost, SAT-7 is also providing vital support to the struggling Christian community in Iraq. "Iraqi Christians have really suffered in recent years and many have fled the country," says David Harder, SAT-7's Communications Manager. "Iraqis often call and text us asking for prayer. Fortunately, through our programs SAT-7's Arabic producers and hosts can show God's love and offer encouragement. We've had responses from Iraq for years, but now we know that literally millions of Iraqis, Christian and non-Christian, are watching the broadcasts."
To watch a live feed from the SAT-7 ARABIC channel, click here.
You also have an opportunity to experience firsthand, up close and personal, the SAT-7 ministry, its staff, and its viewers. Embark on a journey of personal discovery to the Middle East. You will see how the ministry plays a major role in bringing the Gospel to millions by taking this special Vision Trip to the Middle East. We will visit the Holy Land, Cyprus, and Egypt in a life-changing trip. For more information on dates and prices click here.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible