A PLATFORM FOR THE VOICE OF TURKEY’S CHURCH
SAT-7 TÜRK’s work to represent and connect Christians from different backgrounds in Turkey has created a unique opportunity. In a new documentary, the channel will bring together voices from different denominations to tell the story of a man whose humble faith also crossed many barriers: Padre Luigi Iannito, a beloved Italian priest who ministered for 50 years in Turkey and who passed away earlier this year.
The documentary Padre Luigi – A Century of Humility follows in the footsteps of Padre Luigi Iannito, a well-known church leader in Turkey who touched the lives of many in his almost 100 years of life. Viewers will see how Padre Luigi was called to Turkey, a country thousands of miles away from the small Italian village where he was born, and the challenges he faced in his new home. They will learn about the many people he welcomed to St Antoine Church, the way he spoke to non-Christians, his actions during World War II, and his translations of Christian books – but above all his love, devotion, and care for all his fellow human beings.
“Padre Luigi welcomed all in Turkey to Christianity, despite the prejudices that existed in society. It is very important to hear about his life and work from people who knew him,” says Ali Kerem Gülerman, the documentary’s award-winning director.
The production features many Turkish church leaders and community members from Syriac Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches, talking about their experiences with Padre Luigi and how he changed their lives on the road to Christ. Therefore, it will not only enable Padre Luigi’s example to touch many more lives but will also allow SAT-7 TÜRK to act as a platform for unity and cooperation.
The work to include many voices in the documentary builds on the relationships the channel has created with many denominations, churches, and ethnic groups in Turkey. Among those who have previously connected with isolated Christians via SAT-7 TÜRK are Archbishop Sahak Masalyan, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople; and the late Roman Catholic bishop Monseigneur Ruben Tierrablanca Gonzalez. Pastor Vahan İsaoğlu from Kadikoy International Fellowship, and Cem Erçin, Pastor of Istanbul Immanuel Protestant Church, have produced and presented the programs Let’s Talk, Essence of the Gospel and Behind the Veil, to support the Turkish Church and engage with Christian and non-Christian viewers. The channel is also in constant contact with people inevery denomination who share their news and prayer requests, which are beamed to viewers through programs such as SAT-7 TÜRK News and Worldview.
Being a platform for the voice of the Church across the country not only connects and unites Christian viewers but is also edifying to non-Christian viewers. “Showing others a unified community of people who glorify God, even in the worst situations, encourages other people to remain united. Let us continue to be a platform for the voice of the Church in Turkey and change the world today for a better tomorrow,” says Melih Ekener, Executive Director of SAT-7 TÜRK.