NEW HOPE AT NOWRUZ
On 20 March, the Persian-speaking world will celebrate Nowruz, or New Year, under pandemic restrictions. With its celebration of spring and new beginnings, Nowruz has a deeper meaning for Christians as they reflect on their new life in Christ. This year, special programming on SAT-7 PARS helps them celebrate in isolation.
“Nowruz celebrates new beginnings,” shares Omeed Jouyandé. “For Iranian Christians, the underlying themes of spring and new life resonate powerfully and are a reminder of the true new life and birth that Christians have in Christ.”
The word Nowruz combines two Persian words: noe, meaning “new”, and rooz, meaning “day”. Celebrating renewal in nature, this ancient festival – marked by Persians, Afghans, Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Tajiks, and even many in the Balkans – marks the first day of spring in the Northern hemisphere.
“As Iranian Christians thinking about the cultural celebrations of Nowruz, we look to the eternal ‘New Day’ (Nowruz), with the ultimate triumph of Jesus, His victory over darkness, and His everlasting rule,” says Omeed, who writes and translates for SAT-7 PARS.
This year, SAT-7 PARS viewers will be celebrating their second New Year under pandemic restrictions. “Through our programs, we want to inspire, encourage, and support our viewers who have gone through a very challenging year. Above all, we want to guide them to the hope and joy we have in Christ, and to the chance we have for a fresh new start in Him,” shares Panayiotis Keenan, Executive Director of SAT-7 PARS.
All SAT-7 PARS live programs will celebrate Nowruz, including a special standalone program featuring Pastor Shoaib from Afghanistan, Presenter Farangis from Tajikistan, and Rev. Tat Stewart from Iran, who share the Nowruz traditions in their countries and what they mean to them.
A common Nowruz tradition in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran is spring-cleaning in the days leading up to the special day. “This is a wonderful tradition with great values,” says Pastor Shoaib. “As we prepare for Nowruz and clean our homes physically, let us also do a spring clean of our hearts.”
Coming together with friends and family is another vital part of Nowruz celebrations. Rev. Tat Stewart, who has presented theological programs on SAT-7 PARS, shares a special Nowruz message with viewers. “Friendships are very important, and so are the relationships we have in Christ,” the pastor says. “Christ is the one who is able to heal the damage that sin has done to our lives. He can heal broken relationships and broken hearts.”