SAT-7 UNITES VIEWERS IN PRAYER THROUGH ONLINE CONFERENCE
SAT-7 ARABIC recently broadcast a three-day, live online worship conference featuring leaders of the Evangelical Church in Egypt who united in prayer for the Middle East and North Africa. As some churches stood closed and Christians in Egypt felt particularly vulnerable, Nehemiah’s Project: Let’s Build encouraged believers in isolation.
“Today, let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to come and give us the heart of Nehemiah,” prayed Pastor Younathan Boulos during the conference on 5-7 October. “When he heard of threats as they were going to build the walls of Jerusalem, the people feared. He told them not to fear, but to remember God’s great power and might. God is great. He can change things. No matter what our reality, He is greater.”
The pastors who organized Nehemiah’s Project held four meetings over three days at the Heliopolis Evangelical Church in Cairo – in the absence of congregation – focusing on prayer for healing, for safety from the pandemic, for the political and economic stability in the region, and for divine protection over the Church and families.
“Our aim is unity and building each other up. In this prayer service, we want to offer a complete ministry for our country and other countries in our region,” says Pastor Fikry Ragey, head of the prayer ministry of the Evangelical Church in Egypt.
SAT-7 streamed the event live online to reach as many viewers as possible, since many churches are still closed for the public in the region. Over twenty-nine thousand watched the event on Facebook. Many Christians are also feeling the loss of several large events usually attended, or watched on SAT-7, by high numbers of believers each year from Egypt and across the region.
The broadcast also offered comfort as many Christians in Egypt were feeling particularly uneasy following the news that Rev. Dr Andrea Zaki, leader of the Protestant Community in Egypt, had tested positive for COVID-19, along with a number of other church leaders from different denominations. Dr Zaki has recovered since then and is resuming his duties. Also on people’s minds are the economic pain of the pandemic and political uncertainty, including over the negotiations around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project, a source of regional tensions causing anxiety for some in Egypt.
The conference also focused on praying for young people, many of whom are struggling with their faith following a decade of instability in the region and now the pandemic.
“Many youth have left the church in recent years, for various reasons. We want to pray for them, and for the Church,” Pastor Aziz Rizkallah said during his prayer at the event. “We want to pray for youth to know Christ and be transformed into His image.”
The conference is part of SAT-7’s aim to empower the Church in Egypt and the wider region by broadcasting live services, from churches of all denominations, to reach those who cannot attend church – a group of viewers that has grown exponentially since the advent of the pandemic.