BRINGING BIBLICAL TRUTH TO THE NEXT GENERATION IN IRAN
Bibles, Christian teaching material, and a local church community are often unavailable for many in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), including children. Christian resources in their own languages are often scarce. However, a new SAT-7 PARS program is now providing Persian children with a much needed, consistent, and engaging source of biblical truth.
“Golpand,” which translates to Golden Advice, is a live, interactive show. It aims to educate 5 to 12-year-olds on Christian values; equipping them with biblical principles to deal with everyday issues. Biblical stories and teaching are brought alive through interactive games, music, and drama. As Director Nader Taghizadeh explains:
“They are learning the Bible through playing games, not through outdated methods saying ‘you must do this, do not do that.’ We are trying to creatively give learning and instruction in a way that is demonstrated so that the children really understand. ”
Golden Advice wants to make the Bible accessible in a fun and engaging way for young children.
Program Host and Producer Majid Akhavan believes that Golden Advice plays an essential role in teaching Iranian children about the Christian faith, especially in a country where Christian resources are largely unavailable. He explains,
“Even if the children watching do not own a bible they can learn about what it says through the games, music and drama in this program. I call it a ‘colourful Sunday School’ for them. They can’t go to the church, so we provide the missing pieces.”
CONNECTING WITH CHILDREN ACROSS BORDERS
In addition to the interactive games, the audience is invited to call into the live shows, and are welcome to share personal photos and videos. These features of viewer participation have proved to be hugely successful.
Majid says that it is not uncommon for him to receive up to 1,000 messages per week from children watching the show. Committed to investing in these children, Majid personally responds to every message he receives and has built positive ongoing relationships with regular viewers. In many cases, he is connecting with children that have no other Christian role models, providing them with invaluable encouragement.
Golden Advice may well be one of a few sources of biblical content that these children can access making the high level of positive feedback and engagement from viewers all the more exciting. Majid is continuously motivated by his personal connections with viewers:
“30 seconds before a live show you will see me praying. God gives me energy, but so do the viewers. It can be stressful in the studio – it’s hard work. But when I see the viewers calling, with their testimonies and messages, it inspires me to keep going.”