Over ten thousand viewers were able to watch Archbishop Sahak Maşalyan’s message on fasting, prayer, and preparations for Easter, through SAT-7 TÜRK on Saturday 28 March, as churches remain closed due to the coronavirus.

“This interview proposal came directly from the Patriarch” explains Burcu Teymur, the Chief News Editor of SAT-7 TÜRK. Approximately ten thousand people have watched this interview on social media only, while more were likely watching via satellite television. “We also ask other churches and church leaders if they would like to share messages of hope and encouragement, especially during this time. We are always very encouraged when they do” continues Burcu.

Archbishop Sahak Maşalyan is the 85th Patriarch of the Armenian Church in Turkey. On Saturday he addressed thousands of Christians in isolation through SAT-7 TÜRK.

During the broadcast on Saturday, Archbishop Sahak Maşalyan also encouraged viewers to read the Psalms during this time of quarantine, “Let us keep God before us, because a person’s soul becomes like that which it focuses on. When we have God before us, we become more like Him,” he said.

SAT-7 TÜRK has been building relationships with all denominations of churches across Turkey, broadcasting their news and events, and producing programs that represent the history and traditions of the different churches. During this time of crisis, churches are recognising the strategic value of the channel.

As churches take precautionary measures against the coronavirus by closing their doors to the public, SAT-7 TÜRK is bringing the church into the homes of viewers.

“Since we began broadcasting, one of our goals has been to support isolated Christians, to help them feel connected to the global Christian family,” Melih Ekener, Executive Director of SAT-7 TURK explains. “Now we are all voluntarily staying home and are experiencing this isolation. But through SAT-7 TÜRK, we have the unique opportunity to connect our viewers to their churches in their homes”.

As Christians in Turkey pray and hope that the crisis will be over before Easter, SAT-7 TÜRK is preparing to ensure viewers can celebrate virtually if the quarantine continues. “We will continue to broadcast messages from church leaders,” states Melih. “The film crew sent out will be small, and they will continue to take precautions against the virus”.

“God bless you,” writes one viewer in isolation, to the channel. “During this time of quarantine let’s pray that this won’t be an obstacle to our ability to go to church and meet together for much longer. Let us get rid of this illness as soon as possible”.

Viewers are already writing to the Audience Relations team to thank them, to encourage them and to pray for them. “May God protect the SAT-7 family more than ever at this time”, was one viewer’s prayer for the channel.

“SAT-7 TÜRK is a source of joy to us in these days, as we have to stay at home,” wrote another viewer from Turkey.

“I know from my own community that every Catholic is waiting for someone to tell them they can participate in today’s mass through this social media link or this channel” shares one SAT-7 TÜRK staff member. “Churches and congregations have never been in such a need to be part of church services before, but we are confident we can meet this need through our programs, and by broadcasting church services” she adds.

The first case of the coronavirus was announced three weeks ago, since then the number of cases has risen to over 9000[1]. Please continue to pray for and to support the SAT-7 TÜRK team, as they produce live programs and as they support the Christian community in Turkey.


Latest news