UNITY THROUGH DIVERSITY FOR CHRISTMAS
This Christmas, SAT-7 celebrates Jesus’ birth by highlighting the diverse cultural and denominational Christmas traditions across the churches of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Christmas presents a unique opportunity to explain the significance of Jesus’ birth. Many in the MENA do not know the true meaning of Christmas, or why Christians celebrate it. For example, in Turkey, there is often confusion over Christmas and New Year, with the misconception that they are the same celebration or a Western tradition. To remedy this, SAT-7 TÜRK has produced a fun and informative video explaining the real reason for the season.
In some countries, there are other important festivals celebrated during the Christmas period. On 21 December, Persian-speakers celebrate Yaldā – the longest night of the year. Iranian, families gather together to eat, read poetry, and enjoy time together. Yaldā is not a religious festival, but rather a cultural tradition celebrating light overcoming darkness. For many Iranian Christians, Yaldā is particularly special because this cultural celebration can symbolically point to Jesus’ coming as the Light of the World.
SAT-7 wants to recognise and mark significant cultural traditions with our viewers. Our Persian-speaking channel, SAT-7 PARS, will host a special episode of Principles of Faith on Yaldā Night with live traditional music and poetry readings. It will be especially encouraging for our Persian-speaking viewers, who are away from friends and family, to be able to share in our live show’s celebrations.
UNITY THROUGH DIVERSITY
SAT-7 exists to support the Church of the MENA in all its diversity. This year, SAT-7 ARABIC is showcasing Christmas events from many different countries and denominations. This will include a live Christmas concert from the Presidential Palace in Lebanon, a Christmas Concert from Syria, and live coverage of services from the Coptic Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, and Evangelical churches in Egypt.
In an exclusive Christmas episode of the SAT-7 ARABIC program Cross Over, Bishop Mounib Younan from the Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, and Rev Habib Badr from the Presbyterian Church in Beirut will be discussing what Christmas means to them. These church leaders share how the diversity of church celebrations during Christmas can bring the body of Christ closer together.
Christmas is a crucial time for Christians to unite together, supporting their brothers and sisters around the world. Viewers will have the opportunity, some maybe for the first time, to see how those from different denominations express their faith. As believers from diverse backgrounds join in celebrating Christmas together, it can bring understanding, acceptance, and true fellowship.
Please pray that our holistic Christmas programming would impact many and bring lasting peace and hope to those in the MENA. Pray that the Christians in that region would be encouraged in this season, and united together as they celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.