SAT-7 TÜRK PROVIDES ANSWERS OF HOPE DURING PANDEMIC
Christians in Turkey are confronted with questions about their faith, their responsibilities, and the role of the Church during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help provide answers, SAT-7 TÜRK has enlisted the help of church leaders through the new program Answers of Hope.
“My team and I noticed that there has been an increase in questions about faith on our social media pages because of the pandemic,” explains Melih Ekener, Executive Director of SAT-7 TÜRK. “People who recognise the uncertainty of the future have started questioning their beliefs and are searching for answers. While some of them are challenging us by asking ‘Where is your God now?’, others are begging us to pray for them”.
In response, the SAT-7 TÜRK team have created Answers of Hope. True to its name, this special program aims to provide biblical answers that give hope to viewers in short 30-minute episodes. The program is especially unique, as it consults church leaders from across the country via Skype in an interview format.
“It is too risky for our production team and the church leaders to record these episodes in person,” says Cüneyt Arıkan, Program Manager of SAT-7 TÜRK. “We want to ensure we abide by government and health regulations; so we decided to produce Answers of Hope through Skype interviews”.
“There are many faith-based questions arising because of the current situation,” explains Gökhan Talas, the host and producer of the program. “We want to give viewers – many of whom feel desperate and pessimistic – hope and encouragement through the word of God and provide answers to their questions”.
Broadcast on the 6th of April, the first episode of Answers of Hope addressed the highly relevant topic of science and religion.
Viewer engagement online also revealed a lot of interest about the practical role of the Church, of faith and of Christians during a pandemic. Some of the questions to be addressed in future episodes include: do clergymen do anything during the pandemic? What did the church do during similar pandemics in the past? What kind of contributions did Christians make to science? Is there a saint in church history that fought such epidemics/pandemics?
Since viewers’ questions and interests vary, Gökhan Talas will interview various experts who can answer specific questions related to history, theology and the Church in particular.
“We hope that this program will engage people in Turkey from all backgrounds and all denominations,” adds Gülsüm I. Deputy Executive Director of SAT-7 TÜRK. “Whether they are Christian or not, we hope they will find the messages encouraging and informative”.
Please pray for the SAT-7 TÜRK team and the church leaders across Turkey as they work together to answer viewers’ questions about faith and the Church. Pray that God will give them wisdom and keep them safe, especially when tensions in Turkey are high due to uncertainty and economic difficulty.