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World Cup Brings Opportunity for the Gospel to the Middle East

Christian Satellite Network SAT-7 Broadcasts a Series of Programs in the Middle East and North Africa about Male and Female Christian Sports Heroes

CONTACT: Regina Lupoli, (770) 813-0000 or (770) 757-5004 cell, www.DeMossNewsPond.com/SAT7  

NICOSIA, Cyprus, June 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- As the World Cup enters the elimination round, Arab viewers eagerly await live telecasts in coffee shops scattered from Marrakech, Morocco to Mosul, Iraq. Interest continues to grow despite the fact that two Arab national teams, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, were recently eliminated.

“Everyone is talking about it,” said Jinan Slim, Acquisitions Manager for SAT-7, the world’s only provider of Christian programming made by and for the people of the Middle East and North Africa. “Egypt recently won the Africa’s Cup so there is a great deal of interest to see how the African teams will do, how individual star players will play, and who will eventually win the World Cup.”

SAT-7 recognized months ago that many of its viewers would be focusing attention on the World Cup and prepared a number of sports programs that will air for a full month in the channel’s daily hour-long From East and West programming block. Most of these World Cup-related programs are documentaries about Christian sports heroes that SAT-7 has dubbed into Arabic. “We wanted to connect to the excitement of the World Cup by broadcasting programs that show what Christ has meant in the lives of some famous soccer players and athletes,” said Slim. SAT-7 believes these films and documentaries will also draw many new viewers to the channel because the topic is so timely.

Programs that will air on SAT-7 during the month-long competition include The Prize by Athletes in Action, which features interviews with soccer players who either currently or formally played for the national teams of Brazil, Ivory Coast, USA, or Korea. There is also a documentary on Tim Howard, goalkeeper for Manchester United and another on Michelle Akers, 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup player of the Century. Other programs include Cross Courts—The Story of Michael Chang, an international tennis player and French Open champion and a documentary about Eric Liddell, the gold medal sprinter in the 1924 Olympics—whose story was told in Chariots of Fire— and a missionary who was martyred in China.

One particularly powerful program SAT-7 will be airing is called Passion and Power, which focuses on successful female athletes in a variety of sports including soccer, golf, tennis, basketball, and horseback riding. Tim Coleman, SAT-7 Regional Director of Development for the Southeast USA was the former Executive Director of Soccer Outreach International, the soccer ministry started by Michelle Akers. Coleman says, “Over 3.5 billion people will watch this year’s World Cup, making it the most watched sporting event in the world. SAT-7 is leveraging that momentum by broadcasting these very timely sport related programs that add a very relevant chapter to our strong history of equipping Christians in the Middle East.”

SAT-7 can be viewed via satellite in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and much of Central Asia. Programming can also be watched worldwide at www.SAT7.org. Through locally-produced Arabic children’s programming, talk shows, teaching programs, music, serial dramas, and documentaries, SAT-7 provides large audiences with a unique opportunity to hear an accurate presentation of Christian truths in their own language through programming created by their own people. Launched in 1996, SAT-7 is an Arabic Christian television service by and for the people of the Middle East and North Africa, and has its U.S. headquarters in Easton, Md.