REACHING IRANIANS DESPITE COMMUNICATION BARRIERS

As widespread protests continue across Iran, a governmental block on social media platforms has limited SAT-7’s communication with viewers of the Persian-speaking channel SAT-7 PARS.

Thousands have been arrested and at least 20 have been killed in the largest protests Iran has seen since the Green Movement (a political movement following the presidential election in 2009). Protests began at the end of December 2017, as a response to high inflation and various frustrations with standards of living.

The Iranian government has blocked social media platforms such as Telegram and Instagram in an effort to disrupt communication between protesters. This has also had an impact on our SAT-7 PARS audience relations team and their contact with viewers in Iran. 

CONNECTIONS WITH VIEWERS DISRUPTED

Telegram is the most popular messaging app in Iran, with over half of the population active on the platform. Nearly 50 percent of all viewer contact received from Iran by SAT-7 in 2017 was via Telegram. This included many messages from children and young people who enjoy being in contact with the hosts of our children’s programs. In addition, isolated believers find encouragement and support from the online supportive communities that have developed on SAT-7 PARS Telegram groups.

Iran’s current block on Telegram has disrupted this source of support and our main point of contact for viewers. With Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter already blocked in Iran since 2009, connecting with our Iranian viewers has become even more challenging.

It is not clear if or when the Iranian government’s ban on Telegram will be lifted. In the meantime, our audience relations team are adapting to the situation, and finding new methods of communication that are accessible to those in Iran.

PRAY FOR IRAN

SAT-7 PARS broadcasts faith-filled television programs via satellite 24/7, reaching millions of homes in Iran. We are thankful that we have this opportunity to share God’s love, and our prayer is that these programs would bring much needed hope during this challenging time.

Please pray that SAT-7 would be able to continue to encourage and support believers within Iran, both through our programming and direct contact. Pray with us for peace across the nation of Iran, wisdom for its leaders, and an end to violence and bloodshed.

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